Sources said Med-Bumikar Mara Sdn Bhd, the major shareholder of MBM, is expected to communicate to the board of MBM to negotiate for a higher price than what is on the table at the moment.
Last Monday, 52.06% of Med-Bumikar Mara shareholders voted in favour of accepting the offer from UMW for its stake in MBM, subject to certain requirements and conditions.
Medi-Bumikar Mara also recommended to the board of MBM to form a task force to negotiate with UMW, acting in the best interest of the company.
In March, UMW had offered to buy Med-Bumikar Mara’s 50.07% in MBM at RM2.56 per share. Med-Bumikar Mara initially rejected the offer, but the privately held company that is controlled by six families and Mara agreed to the deal last Monday.
“One of the conditions for accepting the deal is for the board of MBM to negotiate for a higher price,” said a source.
Medi-Bumikar Mara’s representatives on the board of MBM are led by Datuk Abdul Rahim Abdul Halim, who is also the chairman of MBM.
Abdul Rahim is one of the persons responsible for the formation of Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua) and is well aware of the legal issues should any one party want to take up a substantial stake in the automotive company.
It has been reported that Mara and two other families holding a 52.06% interest collectively in Med-Bumikar Mara called for an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting of the privately held company to push through the acceptance to UMW’s offer.
A source said that on the face of it, the impression was that the remaining shareholders in Med-Bumikar Mara are not keen on the offer from UMW.
“That perception is not true. The remaining shareholders, who come from four families, are keen on accepting the offer from UMW. The only problem is that they want to secure a higher price before agreeing and putting it to the board of MBM,” said a source.
The jewel in MBM is its direct 20% stake in Perodua. It has another 2.5% indirect stake through a joint venture with Daihatsu of Japan.
UMW has extended by six months the offer period, by which time it has to get the consent from Perodua’s Japanese partners.
Apart from a substantial interest in Perodua, MBM also holds dealerships for Mitsubishi, Volkswagen, Volvo and Daihatsu vehicles. It assembles and distributes Hino trucks that is used for commercial purposes.
This article first appeared in StarBiz Premium.