The Sun (Malaysia)

Asdion unit seeks new lease for stockyards

> TAZ Logistics has submitted applicatio­n to Kuantan Port Consortium


KUALA LUMPUR: ACE Market-listed Asdion Bhd, via its 51%-owned TAZ Logistics Sdn Bhd, is in the midst of applying to Kuantan Port Consortium Sdn Bhd (KPC) for a new lease of the stockyards.

“All the necessary requisite licence applicatio­ns have already been put in,” Asdion director Syed Amir Syakib Arsalan Syed Ibrahim told reporters after the group’s EGM here yesterday.

TAZ was awarded the licence as one of the operators for dry bulk cargo stevedorin­g in Kuantan Port by KPC. Stevedorin­g is the business of loading and unloading of goods on and off shore. The licence, which is regulated by a service contract between TAZ and KPC, is subject to annual renewal.

However, the company said stockyards leased under TAZ, which is an important component of the business, were terminated and the new leases of the same stockyards are likely to be with a company linked to the minority shareholde­r of TAZ.

TAZ has since initiated legal action against former directors for breach of fiduciary duties, including two former key members of Asdion’s board, Tengku Azlan Ibni Sultan Abu Bakar and Datuk Mohamed Ridzuan Nor Md.

Ridzuan, who is the son of former second finance minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, was CEO of TAZ. Tengku Azlan, the younger brother of the Sultan of Pahang, is also chairman of the Kuantan Port Authority.

“We discovered irregulari­ties, which is the subject of the present lawsuits. It’s in court and we will be making further announceme­nts in the future,” said Amir, who declined to elaborate further.

Newly appointed executive director Jason Minos, who is now overseeing TAZ, said stockyards that were earlier leased have been surrendere­d back to KPC.

“We’ve taken all necessary steps for the renewal ... licensing is not an issue. Year-to-year renewal is not an issue,” Jason said, adding that the company will continue to focus on the business in Kuantan Port.

“We’ve invested enough resources and machinery to operate there. We’ve operated there since December 2014 until today and we’ve secured sufficient connection­s, business partners and projects,” he explained.

Asdion executive vice chairman Mohamad Farid Mohd Yusof said it is too early to provide a clear outlook on the financial position of the loss-making group.

He said the group’s joint venture arrangemen­t with Top Valley Properties Sdn Bhd in the property business will not see profit contributi­on for the next two to three years but it is latching on to sharing benefits with Top Valley from a RM297.4 million project in Selangor.

“As far as logistics is concerned, we’ve been making profits. At group level, we have the ICT subsidiary, which has not been doing too well and that has been dragging the profitabil­ity of the group. As much as we hope for better profitabil­ity in these coming quarters, at this juncture, we are not able to give an outlook or forecast,” said Farid.

Asdion group managing director and CEO Yap Tai Tee, who oversees the ICT business, was not present at the EGM to comment further.

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