FGV says yet to formulate plan to address public shareholding shortfall

FGV says yet to formulate plan to address public shareholding shortfall
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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 30): FGV Holdings Bhd said it has yet to formulate a rectification plan to meet Bursa Malaysia’s 25% public spread requirement, with the spread standing at 13.19% as at Nov 25.

The shortfall in the public shareholding spread was a direct consequence of the failed RM1.30 per share privatisation bid by Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA) in March, as the latter only obtained 81% equity interest in the plantation group upon the close of the offer, missing the 95% needed to trigger the compulsory share acquisition to take the company private.

FGV group chief executive officer Mohd Nazrul Izam Mansor told a media conference on Tuesday (Nov 30) that FELDA’s plan to privatise the group still stands, though there are no updates as yet on the matter.

“We definitely need to comply with Bursa Listing Rules [on the public shareholding spread]. We have written to Bursa for a (further) extension to regularise the public shareholding spread until the first quarter of 2022, so we will see what transpires then,” he said.

Bursa in August granted the group a six-month extension until Feb 3, 2022, to comply with the requirement.

Prior to that, in April, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said FELDA was “firm in its plan” to take over the plantation group, as the exercise would provide FELDA with a sustainable income stream.

The minister also said FELDA was not looking to terminate its land lease agreement (LLA) with FGV or to take over the latter’s mills, adding that this would not be prudent since FELDA already had majority control of the group.

As at Nov 8, FELDA, which has been accumulating FGV’s shares, holds 79.65% stake in FGV, comprising a direct 67.232% stake and an indirect 12.415% stake.

FGV closed two sen or 1.37% higher at RM1.48 on Tuesday, giving the plantation group a market capitalisation of RM5.4 billion.

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Tan Choe Choe