Thursday, February 17, 2011

Premium ... Feb11

Following a failed general offer by its major shareholders almost two years ago, Premium Nutrients Bhd has received an offer from Indonesia-incorporated Agro Asia Pacific Ltd to take over the former’s core businesses for a total of RM117.95 million.

Premium Nutrients, a downstream player in the palm oil industry, had received an offer by Agro to acquire the entire stakes of three units of Premium Nutrients, namely Arani Agro Oil Industries Ltd, Premium Vegetable Oils Sdn Bhd and Premium Fats Sdn Bhd. The three subsidiaries represent the core business of Premium Nutrients.

Should Premium accept the offer, it would be formalised in the form of a share sale agreement drawn up by Agro by Feb 18 2011.

Agro is a unit of Singapore-based plantations group Goodhope Asia Holdings Ltd. The group has presence in the plantation industry regionally, mainly in Malaysia and Kalimantan, Indonesia.

Premium Nutrients said it will deliberate on the terms of the offer and next course of action.

The current offer values each share at about 35 sen. But this does not take into account long- and short-term borrowings of RM193.7 million. The company has cash of RM41.9 million and receivables of RM95 million as at Sept 30, 2010.

Over 95% of Premium Nutrients’ production in Malaysia is exported to over 55 countries, including those in North America, Europe, the Middle East, South Asia and Australia. Its list of customers includes multinationals such as Cadbury, Nestlé, Kerry Ingredients (Malaysia), Bunge Ltd (Canada) and Kraft Foods.

It is noteworthy that in July 2009, Premium Nutrients’ major shareholder, Koperasi Kebangsaan Permodalan Tanah Bhd (KKPTB), a national land cooperative linked to Premium Nutrients’ chairman Tan Sri R Somasundram, undertook a mandatory general offer for the company at 25 sen cash per share.

KKPTB’s principal business activities include landed proprietors, investment holdings, operating rubber, oil palm and coconut estates, processing oil palm products, and developing land and housing projects in Malaysia.

Prior to the takeover offer, KKPTB owned a 32.1% stake in Premium Nutrients. However, the co-op failed to take Premium Nutrients private with a total of 56.95% stake in the company after the closing of the acceptance period for the takeover.

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