Shahrir denies Felda in talks to sell stake in FGV

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PETALING JAYA: Felda chairman Shahrir Abdul Samad has denied a report that it was looking to sell some of its stake in Felda Global Ventures Holdings (FGV).

The government agency, which has a 33.66% share in FGV, was reported yesterday to be in talks with two Indonesian tycoons, Martua Sitorus and Peter Sondakh, over the sale of equity in the public listed entity but that discussions had stalled in the wake of FGV’s recent boardroom and senior management woes.

Reuters had reported that under the planned deal, FGV would first take over Indonesian palm plantation assets of Sitorus and Sondakh and pay for it through significant stakes in the enlarged FGV, the sources said.

Felda and Sitorus would then hold about 25%-30% each while Sondakh would own 16%.

However, this was quickly dismissed by Shahrir, who said: “Felda has no plans to sell its stake in FGV to anybody”.

FGV has been mired in controversy for some time, with events hitting a peak last month when its president and chief executive officer Zakaria Arshad was directed by the board of directors to go on an enforced leave. He and two other senior executives were later issued show cause letters over the issue of a delayed payment by an Afghan company to an FGV subsidiary.

Meanwhile, FGV chairman Mohd Isa Samad who was accused by Zakaria of interfering in executive decisions, resigned from FGV two weeks later in what was seen as a move to placate the demands for his removal from the organisation.

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