PETALING JAYA: Plantation firms Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (KLK) and Boustead Plantations Bhd (BPlant) have clarified that a proposed RM1.15bil deal for KLK to acquire stakes in the latter is still pending.
Speculation was that the deal had fallen through, which eventually led to the trading in both companies being suspended.
In a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday, KLK and BPlant said the deal was pending a final decision between the transacting parties.
“The cut-off date for fulfilling the condition precedent is on Oct 6, 2023,” the parties said.
A local news portal reported yesterday that the proposed disposal of a 33% stake in BPlant by the Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT) and Boustead Holdings Bhd (BHB) to KLK had fallen through.
According to the report, the deadline for the deal had already been extended twice.
“In addition, the article featured a quote from the Prime Minister of Malaysia on the government’s intention to ‘help LTAT avoid losses’.
“The board wishes to clarify that the company had no advance notice of, and there was no confirmation of the government’s intention,” said KLK.
BPlant’s share price fell by 19 sen, or 13%, to RM1.27 at the close of trading on Monday, with some 46.7 million shares changing hands. The stock hit a high of RM1.46 and a low of RM1.17 in intraday trade.
KLK’s shares on Bursa Malaysia last closed at RM21.48 on Monday.
According to a Bursa filing, as at Oct 3, KLK has a deemed interest of 36.093% in BPlant, indicating that it has managed to purchase the stake under the deal.
Both BPlant and KLK said trading in their securities will continue to be suspended with effect from 9am, today.
BPlant has been in the spotlight since Aug 24 after KLK announced its plans to acquire a 33% equity interest, plus one share, in BPlant from BHB and the LTAT for RM1.15bil or RM1.55 per BPlant share.
The three parties – KLK, BHB and LTAT – had entered into a strategic collaboration agreement on Aug 24.
“The completion of the sale and purchase of the sale shares is conditional upon the condition precedent being fulfilled, waived or completed, namely the approval of the shareholders of BHB for the disposal of the sale shares at an EGM to be convened by BHB,” BPlant said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia on Aug 28.
KLK, which is one of the largest plantation companies in Malaysia, had said that it would extend a mandatory general offer to increase its stake in BPlant to 65%.
Boustead and LTAT will own the remaining 35%, while BPlant will be taken private.
However, the deal met with criticism as the opposition urged the government to stop the sale of the 33% stake to KLK.
BPlant has 42 operating oil palm estates, including 16 estates in Peninsular Malaysia, as well as 26 in Sabah and Sarawak, and 10 palm oil mills comprising three mills in Peninsular Malaysia, five in Sabah and two in Sarawak.