PETALING JAYA: The sale of 33% of Boustead Plantations Bhd’s (BPlant) shares to plantation group Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (KLK) should not be politicised, says Shahril Hamdan.
Shahril said the responsibility of the Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT), which owns Boustead Holdings Berhad (BHB), is to ensure the best returns for its members and that any other considerations should be secondary.
“We have to remember one simple fact, and that is the funds LTAT uses to invest is not the government’s money. It belongs to the contributors.
“Therefore, we have to respect and appreciate that. I’m not saying that it can’t be a secondary agenda but it shouldn’t be politicised,” the former economic adviser to the government told FMT.
Shahril also said the deal already met the criteria set by LTAT’s investment arm after going through a competitive bidding process.
He believed that the matter would not have been politicised by certain parties if the shares were sold to a Bumiputera company like Tradewinds Corporation Berhad instead.
Last week, when debating the mid-term review of the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP), Bersatu Youth chief Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal questioned the sale of the shares to KLK.
He asked why the shares weren’t sold to Sime Darby Bhd or Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) instead if the government was committed to empowering Bumiputera equity ownership, as outlined in the 12MP.
Previously, KLK signed a letter of agreement with Boustead Holdings Bhd (BHB) and LTAT to set the cut-off date for a strategic collaboration agreement (SCA) on Sept 22 or any other date that they might mutually agree upon in writing.
In the Bursa filing, KLK said all other provisions contained in the SCA would remain unchanged and be in full force and effect. Under the agreement, KLK is expected to own 65% of BPlant while LTAT and BHB control the remaining 35%.
On Aug 24, KLK signed a tripartite SCA with LTAT and its subsidiary BHB to jointly undertake a mandatory takeover offer to acquire all the remaining shares of BPlant which they do not own at a cash offer price of RM1.55 per share.
Under the agreement, KLK will acquire 739.2 million shares or a 33% plus one share stake in BPlant for a cash consideration of RM1.15 billion, or RM1.55 per share, valuing BPlant at RM3.47 billion.