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Malaysian palm producer FGV jumps 20pc after surviving Felda's bid

  • The Federal Land Development Authority, or Felda, in December proposed a mandatory takeover offer after agreeing to increase its stake in FGV.
  • FGV's stock jumped as much as 28.5% on Tuesday in its largest intraday jump since Sept. 14, 2015.
Published March 16, 2021

KUALA LUMPUR: Shares in Malaysia's FGV Holdings Bhd closed almost 21% higher on Tuesday after state-owned Felda failed in its bid to take the world's largest crude palm oil producer private.

The Federal Land Development Authority, or Felda, in December proposed a mandatory takeover offer after agreeing to increase its stake in FGV.

Felda only obtained 81% equity interest in FGV by Monday evening when the offer deadline to take the company private ended, an exchange filing showed.

Felda planned to take FGV private, which required it and parties acting in concert to hold at least 90% of FGV shares following the takeover offer, Felda's offer document in January showed.

FGV's stock jumped as much as 28.5% on Tuesday in its largest intraday jump since Sept. 14, 2015.

"FGV remains as a public listed company and will make further announcements if there are any developments in respect of this matter," the company said in an emailed response to Reuters.

"FGV will continue with its transformation initiatives in the best interest of shareholders," it added.

Felda did not immediately respond to requests for comments.

FGV's independent directors in January urged investors to reject the takeover bid, saying the offer price of 1.30 ringgit ($0.3161) was unfair.

Independent adviser RHB Investment Bank had also called the offer price, representing an 8.5-18.8% discount to FGV's fair value, unfair, but deemed the deal reasonable.

MIDF Research said the takeover attempt could have fallen through because of the unattractive offer price.

"With the current crude palm oil price... at an all-time high, minority shareholders might have been seeking a higher valuation," it said in a note, referring to benchmark palm oil futures, that breached 4,000 ringgit per tonne.

FGV listed on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange in 2012 as an investor favourite at an offer price of 4.55 ringgit ($1.13) per share in what was hailed as the world's second largest initial public offer after Facebook.

But shares have since tumbled as the company grappled with financial and governance issues.

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