Premium to start setting up China plant


BY SCHAVE DE ROZARIO

PREMIUM Nutrients Bhd will begin ground works to set up a plant in China by 2005 after its India operation has proved to be a success. 

Its managing director P.N. Agarwal said that with the China expansion, the company expects to cater to more than 50% of the world demand. 

“Our India operation has proved successful. We expect the operation to contribute at least 30% to our group profits this year,” Agarwal said after the signing an underwriting agreement in conjunction with its listing on the KLSE second board. 

The company signed with its financial adviser and managing underwriters Public Merchant Bank Bhd and co-underwriters SJ Securities, Hwang DBS Securities, PM Securities, MIDF Sisma Holdings and Affin-UOB Securities. 

The company is scheduled for a listing via a reverse takeover of Practice Note 4 (PN4) company Bridgecon Holdings Bhd next month. 

Premium is an investment holding company with Premium Vegetables Oil Bhd (PVO) as its wholly-owned subsidiary.  

PVO is the only fully integrated manufacturer in Malaysia of high quality speciality fats for the food industry.  

“We spend RM1mil to RM1.5mil annually in R&D to bolster PVO's state-of-the-art production facilities to offer high quality products to Asia, Europe and America and thereon to 50 other countries,” Agarwal said. 

PVO, whose annual sales amount to RM287mil, exports 80% of its products.  

The company has three manufacturing facilities, two located on 4.45ha in Pasir Gudang, Johor and the other in Kakinada, a port town in Andhra Pradesh, India.  

Premium Nutrients chairman Tan Sri Dr K.R. Somasundram said there were plans to make the company's India production solely for the Indian market. 

“We will begin to produce our specialty fats in our India plant by September this year,” he said.  

Premium's flotation will involve an offer of 43.2 million 50 sen shares at an issue price of 50 sen per share. 

Out of this total, 20 million shares will be allocated for private placement; 10.2 million for the Malaysian public; 5 million for bumiputra investors approved by the International Trade and Industry Ministry; 3 million for Bridgecon shareholders; and 5 million for eligible directors and employees of Premium group. 

“There is a growing need to assure consumers worldwide of a safe alternative to animal fats.  

“Our specialty fats oil is vegetable based. We have also obtained ISO9001:2000 certification and have earned the halal and kosher certifications,” Somasundram added. 

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