Can Anuar Taib turn around Sapura Energy?

KUALA LUMPUR (June 19): After many years at the helm of Sapura Energy Bhd, Tan Sri Shahril Shamsuddin passed the baton to Datuk Anuar Taib, who took over as CEO on March 23 this year.

While Anuar is a 30-year veteran of the oil and gas industry, having led Petronas’ upstream business and Shell Malaysia’s operations, does he have what it takes to turn Sapura Energy around?

There have been changes at Sapura Energy. Other than Anuar, there have also been appointments to the board, namely ex-Petronas CEO Tan Sri Shamsul Azhar Abbas, who was appointed in July 2020. More recently the company appointed Datuk Iain Lo as an independent non-executive director and Bernard di Tullio as a non-independent non-executive director.

Oil and gas players say the new names on Sapura Energy’s board are true blue professional and capable individuals with the requisite capabilities to drive things at Sapura Energy.

Many of these changes have come about as Permodalan Nasional Bhd became the largest shareholder of Sapura Energy with close to 40% equity interest.     

Anuar, who will have helmed Sapura Energy as CEO for three months on June 23, gave his take on what went wrong at Sapura Energy, a giant in the making in the oil and gas industry which tumbled with oil prices plummeting.

He explained how the company has refinanced its RM10 billion debts, and how this is just a breather as the amounts still need to be settled. He also explained how the perceived mistakes of the past put the company in good stead to win jobs in global markets, as the experiences garnered have made the company “more choosy” in bidding for jobs.

Other than that, he also talked about how the company may sell some of its assets, and seeks to be more focused on its business.  

The key question is: will Anuar be able to revive Sapura Energy from the company which closed at 13.5 sen last Thursday with a market capitalization of RM2.16 billion, to its former glory where it was valued at circa RM30 billion?

Read more about it in The Edge Malaysia weekly’s June 21 edition.

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