KUALA LUMPUR: Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Bhd executive chairman Datuk Abd Aziz Sheikh Fadzir has emerged as the single largest shareholder in the newspaper publisher when he acquired a 31.6% stake on Friday.
A filing with Bursa Malaysia showed he acquired the stake, comprising of 35 million shares, at 19 sen each, for a total of RM6.65mil. This was 7.5 sen or 65.2% over the current price of 11.5 sen.
He acquired the shares via Opulence Asia Sdn. Bhd from Umno, which was then the largest shareholder with 49.77% or 55.11 million shares.
According to stock market data, the shares represented 31.6%, based on its paid-up of 110.73 million shares. The shares were traded at 19 sen each or 7.5 sen or 65.2% over the current price of 11.5 sen.
Utusan closed unchanged at 11.5 sen.
According to an announcement to Bursa Malaysia on Feb 4, Utusan Malaysia said Abd Aziz had given his notice of intention to deal in securities during closed period pending the announcement by the Company of its financial results for the quarter ended Dec 31, 2018.
Prior to Friday's acquisition, he did not own any shares in Utusan.
Utusan continued to suffer losses in the quarter to end-September on lower contribution from its publishing, distribution and advertising business.
The newspaper publisher posted a net loss of RM33.9mil, its fourth straight quarterly loss. Cumulative nine-month losses swelled to RM42.4mil, the company said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia.
Utusan was classified as a Practice Note 17 (PN17) company on Aug 20 due to its financial difficulties. The company said it is in the midst of formulating a regularisation plan to address its PN17 status.
“The company also submitted the first proposal on a debt-restructuring scheme to the Corporate Debt Restructuring Committee on Oct 26,” it said in a statement on Nov 29.