IJM Plantations surges on news it could be a takeover target

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on August 8, 2018.
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KUALA LUMPUR: Shares in IJM Plantations Bhd rose as much as 10.2% to their six-month high of RM2.48 in early trade yesterday following a report that it could be a takeover target.

The stock pared some of the gains to close at RM2.38, up 13 sen or 5.78% from Monday’s closing, with a market capitalisation of RM2.1 billion. It was one of the top gainers on Bursa Malaysia yesterday. A total of 180,800 shares changed hands.

When contacted, a spokesman for IJM Corp Bhd holding a 55% stake in IJM Plantations, declined to comment on the matter.

According to a report by StarBiz yesterday, suitors for IJM Plantations include IOI Corp Bhd and Hap Seng Plantations Holdings Bhd. Citing sources, the report named IOI as the leading candidate due to its financial resources and the locations of its existing plantations in Sabah and Sarawak.

It also said the current low prices of crude palm oil are viewed as a conducive environment for acquisitions.

The benchmark palm oil contract for October delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange closed up 31% at RM2,237 per tonne yesterday.

IJM Plantations has a planted acreage of some 61,000ha in Sabah and East Kalimantan and Sumatra in Indonesia.