Sime Darby extends NBPOL offer period

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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 4): Sime Darby Bhd plans to extend the offer period for the take-over of New Britain Palm Oil Ltd (NBPOL).

In a statement to Bursa Malaysia today, Sime Darby said it intended to extend the offer duration from Dec 18, 2014 to Jan 20, 2015.

Last October, Sime Darby said the group, via wholly-owned unit Sime Darby Plantation Sdn Bhd (SD Plantation), planned to buy the entire stake in NBPOL for GBP7.15 a share or GBP1.07 billion (RM5.62 billion) cash.

The privatisation of UK and Papua New Guinea-listed NBPOL will see Sime Darby delisting NBPOL from the UK bourse.

The acquisition of NBPOL includes Kulim (M) Bhd's 48.97% stake in NBPOL.

Yesterday (Dec 3), Kulim shareholders had, at the company's extraordinary general meeting, approved the NBPOL stake sale to Sime Darby.

Following Kulim shareholders' approval, Sime Darby said today, it had secured 58.7% of NBPOL’s voting shares as at yesterday.

"With this, one of the conditions precedent of the offer, being the minimum acceptance condition of the offer of not less than 51% voting rights in NBPOL received by SD Plantation, has now been satisfied," Sime Darby said.

The exercise needs to fulfill several conditions. Earlier, Sime Darby said these included the European Commission's declaration that the offer was compatible with the internal market.

According to Sime Darby then, it planned to delist NBPOL from the London Stock Exchange, when the offer becomes unconditional. The offer will become unconditional, when Sime Darby has acquired at least 75% of NBPOL's voting rights.

Today, Sime Darby shares rose 11 sen or 1.2% to RM9.62 at 12.30pm, giving the group a market value of RM58.34 billion.

The stock had risen 1% this year, outperforming the FBM KLCI's 6% decline.