Sultan of Johor buys substantial stake in Berjaya Assets

sultan-johor-Berjaya-Assets-Bhd-1KUALA LUMPUR: The Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, has become a substantial shareholder in loss-making Berjaya Assets Bhd (BAssets), The Edge Financial Daily reported.

It quoted two sources as saying that the Johor ruler had bought 80 million shares, or a 6.7% stake, in BAssets off-market yesterday. It is not known who he bought it from.

The Edge Financial Daily said it had learned that he had bought the shares at RM1 apiece, representing a 14.5% or 17 sen discount to BAssets’ closing price of RM1.17 yesterday.

It quoted another source as saying Sultan Ibrahim was likely to continue to mop up more BAssets shares to at least a double-digit percentage stake. It has yet to be known exactly how much he has bought.

BAssets is controlled by tycoon Vincent Tan Chee Yioun. It is the developer of Berjaya Times Square in Kuala Lumpur and owns Natural Avenue Sdn Bhd, which operates number forecast lotteries in Sarawak.

According to the report, BAssets has obtained a licence agreement with Greyhound Café Co Ltd for exclusive rights to establish and operate cafes under the Greyhound Café trademark in Malaysia.

Tan held a controlling 63% stake in BAssets — of which 37.7% was direct interest and 25.3% was deemed interest via Berjaya Corp Bhd — as at Aug 17.

The Edge Financial Daily said the Johor ruler had invested in several companies in which Tan also had a stake in, including 7-Eleven Malaysia Holdings Bhd and U Mobile Sdn Bhd, the country’s youngest telecommunications operator.

Year to date, shares in BAssets had risen 29%, with a market capitalisation of RM1.39 billion, the report said.

Net loss of BAssets narrowed by 80% to RM11.11 million in the financial year ended June 30, 2017, from RM54.12 million the previous year.