Highlight: Anuar making corporate comeback?

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KUALA LUMPUR: Businessman Datuk Anuar Othman is believed to be making a comeback to the local corporate world via the potential takeover of National Feedlot Corp Sdn Bhd’s (NFCorp) cattle farming project.

Anuar, who used to be part of the then Renong-UEM Group management team, is said to have vested interest in an investment-linked company, VC Mahawangsa Sdn Bhd, which has been linked to the takeover of NFCorp.

An agreement signing ceremony between NFCorp and VC Mahawangsa was scheduled to take place in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. However, the event was called off by the organisers the night before.

“It was called off because the deal has yet to be properly finalised. There are still issues that need to be thrashed out and once those concerns are addressed, a proper announcement will be made,” said a source close to the deal.

The source said Anuar holds the position of executive chairman of VC Mahawangsa, which has offered to take over NFCorp’s assets and liabilities following the aborted deal with a Japanese company, Kirimitonas Agro Sdn Bhd (KASB), in October.

The Japanese company signed an agreement in April with the finance ministry to take over the cattle rearing project after the previous NFCorp management under Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail failed to meet production targets and was accused of breaching the RM250 million government loan conditions.

The finance ministry said the takeover of NFCorp by the Japanese company fell through due to a failure to reach an agreement. NFCorp runs the National Feedlot Centre, which aims to meet the government’s objective of reducing beef imports.

Sources said Anuar is said to be interested in the cattle farming project due to the high returns expected from the venture.

“The beef business is a RM2 billion a year industry and annual profits come to RM400 million. So even if NFC gets 10%, you are talking about RM40 million,” said an industry source.

Anuar and businessman Tan Sri Halim Saad were at one time shareholders of Hatibudi Sdn Bhd, which had acquired a significant stake in United Engineers Malaysia Bhd that was awarded the privatised North-South Highway project.

Both Halim and Anuar were also involved in the operations of toll operator, Metramac, which was formerly known as Syarikat Teratai KG Sdn Bhd. Anuar and Halim were said to have parted ways after some disagreements between them.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on December 4, 2013.