Felda to go ahead with IPO

KUALA LUMPUR: FELDA Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGVH) will go ahead with its proposed initial public offering without the direct involvement of the settlers' cooperative, Koperasi Permodalan Felda (KPF), Felda chairman Tan Sri Isa Samad said.

However, Felda settlers will still enjoy any windfall from the proposed listing through a special purpose vehicle (SPV).

"I want to be clear that Felda wants KPF to participate in the IPO. However, it is unfortunate that a small group of eight Felda settlers, influenced by the National Felda Settlers' Association (Anak), have chosen to block the participation of KPF in the IPO," Isa said at a press conference held before a briefing session with Felda settlers here yesterday.

The Kuantan High Court last week allowed an interim injunction by eight Felda settlers barring KPF from transferring its shares in Felda Holdings Bhd and 10 of its subsidiaries to FGVH or any discussion to be held on behalf of KPF on the matter, resulting in the cooperative board cancelling its extraordinary general meeting yesterday.

While KPF owns a 51 per cent stake in Felda Holdings, it does not have a stake in FGVH, which is wholly owned by the government through Felda. As such, the decision to list FGVH lies wholly with the Felda board and the minister in charge of Felda.

Isa expressed disappointment with the action of the eight settlers, which he said was detrimental to the interest of 220,000 KPF members, of whom 112,635 are Felda settlers. "As a result of their action, other KPF members (non-settlers, such as Felda employees) will not be able to participate in the proposed listing of what would have been one of the largest producers of crude palm oil in the world.

"Although the action of the eight will not impact on FGVH's proposed listing, we are disappointed at their opposition-influenced decision to deprive a majority of Felda employees an opportunity to participate in the growth of FGVH," he said.

With KPF out of the picture, Felda now proposes to establish a SPV to protect settlers' interest.

"As the proceeds from the proposed listing and potential profits from the listed business now cannot be channelled through KPF, the SPV will assume this role and ensure that Felda settlers benefit directly from the proposed listing and participate fully in all future profits," said Isa. "We anticipated this. That's why we were prepared to handle it in a different way."

Isa said the listing of FGVH was going through the usual regulatory process and it had been finalised. "I urge all parties not to make any statements or speculations on the outcome. I am sure the FGVH management will provide the necessary information as to when approval from the authorities is granted."

He reiterated that no Felda settler's land would be touched. In addition, their holding in KPF remained as it was.

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