PETALING JAYA: There is something brewing in Pelikan International Corp Bhd that could see the stationery maker selling some of its assets overseas.
Yesterday, Pelikan closed 26.4% higher to 46 sen, giving it a market capitalisation of RM273mil
Its share price soared as much as 53% to 55 sen during intraday trade, and it was on the top three of actively-traded counters on Bursa Malaysia.
Sources said Pelikan is in the final stage of discussion to sell some of its assets in Germany that could be worth about €70mil (RM344.5mil) to €100mil (RM492mil).
“Pelikan is an asset-rich company and asset monetisation has been on the table since 2016 including a stake in its European unit Pelikan AG.
“The company has also not declared a dividend in a long time, ” a source said.
The source pointed out that the asset monetisation has been accelerated since last year after the emergence of new shareholders in Pelikan, namely, Urusharta Jamaah Sdn Bhd and private equity (PE) firm Ikhlas Capital Singapore Pte Ltd.
Urusharta is Pelikan’s largest shareholder with a 26% stake, which it took over from Lembaga Tabung Haji as part of a rescue plan of the pilgrimage fund.
Meanwhile, Ikhlas Capital, which is partly owned by former banker Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, bought a 10% stake in Pelikan in August 2019 for RM21mil or at 39 sen per share.
As of March 31, Pelikan’s assets stood at RM1.35bil. Its share price has been trading below net assets per share of 73 sen.
Pelikan’s assets include production plants in Germany, Mexico, Colombia and Poland. It has an international procurement centre in Malaysia.
Its share price has been on a decline in the last five years despite the efforts of the company to return to profitability.
This included the appointment of investment bank BNP Paribas in 2016 to look at “strategic options” for the company including selling at least a 20% stake in Pelikan AG.
This has not happened until today and debt remains a concern.
The company’s total debt of RM400mil is higher than its market capitalisation.
The history of Pelikan can be traced back to 2005. It was then known as Diperdana Holdings Bhd, which then acquired Pelikan Holding AG and Pelikan Japan KK. This saw the company transforming from a logistics player to a global stationery player. The Pelikan brand from Germany is more than 180 years old.
This was followed by the acquisition of another German-based stationery maker Herlitz AG in 2010.
But the global expansion by Pelikan has been tough for the company. It reported losses from 2011 until 2015 before returning to the black in 2016 after the company said it had completed a lengthy asset streamlining exercise.
That resulted in the Malaysian-listed Pelikan becoming a holding company of Pelikan Holdings AG.