Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Sarawak tycoon Tan Sri Ling Chiong Ho is planning a major move into Wijaya Baru Global Bhd. It is understood that the self-made businessman is attempting to lock up Wijaya’s landbank in Indonesia. Wijaya’s Indonesian asset is 80,000 hectares of virgin jungle land suitable for planting palm oil.
It had bought the assets in 2011 for US$80 million (RM245 million). At east one of the public-listed companies controlled by Ling had sent in proposals to help lock up the Indonesian assets.
The offer comes just after Wijaya’s dominant stakeholder, Major (Ret) Anuar Adam was preparing for a corporate coup that will benefit all Wijaya stakeholders. In 2011, Anuar bought a 32 per cent stake in Wijaya from Datuk Tiong King Sing at 95 sen a share.
It is understood that Miri-based Shin Yang group, one of Sarawak’s fastest growing conglomerates, is proposing a venture with Wijaya, whereby it will bear the entire cost of felling the virgin jungle as well as setting up an integrated timber complex.
Wijaya currently has a felling licence from the Indonesian government to cut down trees in the concession area before converting the area into an oil palm plantation.
Under the proposal, Wijaya will have a substantial stake in the integrated timber complex.
As for the trees felled, Shin Yang is proposing to pay just under US$13 (RM40) for every 30 cubic meters.
Ling controls 55.03 per cent of the public-listed Shin Yang Shipping Corp via the privately-held Shin Yang Holdings Sdn Bhd. Shin Yang owns a fleet of 285 vessels, which helped ship some 1.36 million cubic meters of timber products. Shin Yang group, meanwhile, owns four plywood mills in Miri, and is regarded as one of Asia’s leading exporters of wood products.
Ling’s Sarawak Oil Palms Bhd, meanwhile, is proposing a joint venture to help plant the felled jungle with palm trees, a venture that could eventually cost some US$100 million (RM306 million).
He controls Sarawak Oil Palms via Shin Yang Plantation Sdn Bhd, which has a 29.15 per cent stake in the public-listed company. Additionally, Ling also has a 7.16 per cent direct stake in the company.
A corporate exercise is in the making and if all goes as planned, Wijaya Baru Global Bhd may have more land as two parties with land bank are in talks to buy out majority shareholder Datuk Anuar Adam.
Anuar holds 32% equity stake in Wijaya Baru.
It was reported that both have just finished the first round of negotiations. But all this is subject to the board's approval as they have to ensure the interest of all parties including that of the minority shareholders is taken into consideration.
It is learnt that one party is from the Middle East and the other is a listed company from Sarawak.
Anuar bought his block of Wijaya shares from Datuk Tiong King Sing at 95 sen a share in 2011.
Those in the know claim that the corporate exercise also involves a joint venture (JV) to set up an integrated timber complex in Indonesia.
With the JV, Wijaya's land base will increase from 80,000ha now located in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia to 270,000ha because both the Middle Eastern and Sarawak parties have 150,000ha and 40,000ha respectively near Wijaya's land bank in Indonesia.
How the deal will be structured to include a JV is not clear at this juncture.
It was reported that Wijaya had bought two companies Wealth Gate Pte Ltd and Suffolk Pte Ltd for about US$80mil. The two companies have a combined 80,000ha that have been approved for oil palm plantations and related activities.
Wijaya also has a felling licence from the Indonesian government to cut down trees in the concession area and will first extract timber from the forested land, before converting the area into oil palm plantation.
Posted by BHK at 11:14 AM