Felda Global not in talks with Sarawak Plantation

KUALA LUMPUR: Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) is not in talks to buy a stake in Sarawak Plantation Bhd.

In its filing to the stock exchange yesterday, the plantation giant said: "FGV is not in discussion with any party on acquiring a substantial stake in Sarawak Plantation Bhd."

FGV was correcting a news report alleging it is eyeing Sarawak Plantation that has 51,965ha of plantation landbank, of which 57 per cent is planted with oil palms. The news report claimed FGV wants to buy a substantial stake in Sarawak Plantation, which is currently controlled by its biggest shareholders Datuk Abdul Hamed Sepawi and the Sarawak State Government.

FGV operates 343,521ha of oil palm estates in Malaysia that produce 5.2 million tonnes of fresh fruit bunches. Last year, high rubber prices prompted its 10,308ha rubber estates to yield 7,269 tonnes of cup lumps for sale to industrial users.

FGV's 49 per cent-owned associate Felda Holdings Bhd is a force to be reckoned with, having milled 3.3 million tonnes of crude palm oil last year. This gives it a seven per cent global market share.

When contacted yesterday, a clearly exasperated FGV spokesperson said: "When FGV said it is pursuing various strategies to expand upstream business, it is a general statement. It does not refer to Sarawak Plantations (or, for that matter, any other organisation) specifically."

He then alluded to FGV's prospectus stating that some RM2.2 billion of RM4.5 billion raised at the recent initial public offering will go to the purchase of suitable agriculture assets in Indonesia, Cambodia and Myanmar.

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