Frankly Speaking: What’s next for Seacera?

This article first appeared in The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on November 5, 2018 - November 11, 2018.
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Eyebrows were raised when Seacera Group Bhd informed the stock exchange last Monday — in response to an unusual market activity (UMA) query on the sharp fall in its share price — that three of its major shareholders had been forced to selldown their stakes due to margin calls.

Non-executive chairman Datuk Seri Mansor Masikon, managing director Zulkarnin Ariffin and Datuk Ismail Osman were forced to sell down their stakes by banks or stockbroking firms. The UMA query was issued after the stock plunged 48% over the previous two trading days.

Two days later, Seacera said one Tan Boon Seng had emerged as a substantial shareholder after acquiring 34.98 million shares or a 9.2% direct stake last Monday. Mansor is no longer a substantial shareholder while Zulkarnin and Ismail still had 1.6% and 7.4% respectively at press time.

In other words, Tan is now the single largest shareholder of the tile maker, which reported a net loss of RM7.4 million in the six months ended June 30.

Now,  rumours are that Tan, or possibly other sharp-eyed investors, could be eyeing Seacera’s newly acquired 501-acre tract, Lot 613, in Semenyih, Selangor. Some are even saying the company is targeted for a takeover.

In its 2017 annual report, Seacera said the commencement of property development activities on Lot 613 will be an opportunity to build and sustain its property development business over the longer term, with a potential gross development value of RM10 billion in the next 15 years.

Given the shareholding changes, what is its future direction and who will be at the helm? Minorities will be eager to find out.

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