This, according to Sime Darby Bhd chief executive officer and president Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh.
“This is good because we want to work with PNG government to grow the business,” he told reporters after the group's annual general meeting on Thursday.
The Sime Darby Group, via plantation arm Sime Darby Plantation Sdn Bhd, has recently launched a conditional general offer (GO) to acquire all the shares in dual-listed plantation group NBPOL at £7.15 (RM37.54) per share for a total purchase consideration of £1.07bil (RM5.6bil).
The GO will be subject to Sime Darby receiving a minimum acceptance of 51% of the NBPOL shares, an assurance that the offer will not be contrary to PNG’s national interest, and meeting the regulatory requirements by the London Stock Exchange (LSE), the Port Moresby Stock Exchange, the PNG government and Bursa Malaysia.
“For us having 51% shareholding in NBPOL would be ideal,” he said.
In a letter Minority Shareholder Watchdog Group (MSWG), Sime Darby noted said that the PNG government has not indicated any interest in managing NBPOL.
“Sime Darby has clearly stated that Sime Darby intends to exercise its tights to secure control of NBPOL at the shareholder, the board and management level,” it said.
It noted that, upon securing 51% of the shareholding of NBPOL, Sime Darby said it would be in the position to appoint additional directors or replace selected board members.
As at June 30, the major shareholders of NBPOL were Kulim with 49%, institutional and retail investors with 24%, the PNG government and other interests with 22%, and the management of NBPOL with 5%.
Kulim has previously said it intended to accept the offer by Sime Darby subject to the conditions that there were no better offer for its 49% stake in NBPOL and approval of Kulim’s shareholders in the EGM for the divestment.
NBPOL is a fully integrated producer of certified sustainable palm oil with 135,000ha of brownfield assets, 12 mills and one refinery each in PNG and Liverpool, the United Kingdom, as well as the largest sugar cane and beef producer in PNG with a market capitalisation of US$1.3bil as at Aug 4 this year.