‘FGV NEVER HELD TALKS TO SELL STAKE’

How­ever, group open to for­eign firms buy­ing its shares in open mar­ket

New Straits Times - - Business -

OOI TEE CHING

KUALA LUMPUR bt@me­di­aprima.com.my

FELDA Global Ven­tures Hold­ings Bhd (FGV) has quashed re­ports of stake sale talks with Tradewinds Group or any for­eign firm.

FGV group pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer (CEO) Datuk Zakaria Ar­shad said it had never dis­cussed pri­vate share place­ments with China’s big­gest food trader, China National Ce­re­als, Oils and Food­stuffs Corp (COFCO).

Zakaria, how­ever, said the group was open to for­eign firms buy­ing its shares in the open mar­ket.

“We have never dis­cussed any stake sale in FGV with any par­ties, be it COFCO or Tradewinds Group,” he said at the re­brand­ing of Saji prod­ucts, owned by FGV’s down­stream arm, De­lima Oil Prod­ucts Sdn Bhd, here, yes­ter­day.

“But we are open to COFCO or any in­vestors buy­ing FGV shares in the open mar­ket. To me, FGV shares are un­der­val­ued.”

A lo­cal daily re­cently re­ported that three China-based com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing COFCO, were vy­ing for strate­gic stakes in FGV.

Zakaria said FGV was in dis­cus­sions with sev­eral par­ties to ex­pand and value add its palm oil ex­ports.

“We’re talk­ing to po­ten­tial busi­ness part­ners with strong dis­tri­bu­tion chan­nels in China, In­dia, Pak­istan and Mena (Mid­dle East and North Africa).

“In China, FGV al­ready has a bulk­ing fa­cil­ity in Dong­guan. We wish to strike a part­ner­ship with COFCO to ex­pand our busi­ness there. We are in for long-term growth that is mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial,” he added.

Es­tab­lished in 1949, COFCO is head­quar­tered in Bei­jing.

Last year, state-owned COFCO posted US$30.748 bil­lion (RM136 bil­lion) in rev­enue and was ranked 121st on the For­tune Global 500 list.

On Saji’s re­brand­ing, the new logo of a bowl re­flects the group’s culi­nary po­si­tion­ing. A yel­low smile and the ris­ing sun against the green back­ground sig­nify bright prospects.

“We hope the Saji brand will re­main the pre­ferred choice for Malaysians,” said De­lima Oil Prod­ucts CEO Datuk Izran Adam Alias Mo­hamed.

In Malaysia, Saji cook­ing oil com­mands 35 per cent of the mar­ket share.

FGV shares re­mained un­changed at RM2.05 yes­ter­day.

HAFIZ SOHAIMI PIC BY

Felda Global Ven­tures Hold­ings Bhd chair­man Tan Sri Mohd Isa Ab­dul Sa­mad (right) with group pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer (CEO) Datuk Zakaria Ar­shad (cen­tre) and De­lima Oil Prod­ucts Sdn Bhd CEO Datuk Izran Adam Alias Mo­hamed at the launch of the new Saji logo in Kuala Lumpur yes­ter­day.

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