Felda Global to hire banks for IPO next week

This is written by my boss Francis Fernandez.

Kuala Lumpur: Felda Global Ventures Holdings Sdn Bhd plans to hire investment banks by as early as next week to help arrange its initial public offering, said its group president cum chief executive officer Datuk Sabri Ahmad.

"We will hire them as soon as possible, perhaps by next week," Sabri said at his office here yesterday.

The company plans to hire as many as two Malaysian investment banks. "We will also be hiring one or two foreign merchant bankers." Sabri said the banks are being selected via a closed-tender exercise. Interest on the Felda Global listing work is high, with the planned IPO already being touted as one of the biggest in Malaysia.

He declined to comment on speculation that CIMB and Maybank Investment Bank, the pair that handled MSM Malaysia Holdings Bhd's IPO for Felda, will be selected for the planned Felda Global IPO. The selected bankers will help Felda organise roadshows at home and abroad to drum up interest.

Felda Global is the commercial arm of the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda), the world's largest estate owner.  It has been tasked with helping rural settlers to develop plantations of agricultural commodities such as oil palm and rubber.

On the size of the IPO, Sabri said the numbers are being crunched, and restructuring activities are being held "to unlock the value". "It will definitely be bigger than the MSM Malaysia Holdings Bhd IPO," said Sabri.

Felda raised slightly more than RM800 million from the MSM share sale, which saw the sugar company valued at about RM2.4 billion.

Koperasi Permodalan Felda, which is owned by the settlers, made a paper gain of RM300 million from the MSM IPO from its 20 per cent stake.

Sabri said as part of the restructuring exercise, Felda Global and Felda Holdings Bhd will be merged into a single entity. "This will help us unlock value for our stakeholders," said Sabri, adding that the eventual structure of the listed entity will be somewhat similar to that of Sime Darby Bhd and IOI Corp Bhd.

Both Sime and IOI have built specific units to focus on upstream and downstream activities.

A listed Felda will have about 850,000ha of plantation land. "In terms of acreage we will be bigger than Sime. We are also competitive in terms of plantation yields and our mill output is the best in the industry," said Sabri.

Leave a Reply