Sime Darby eyes 'ideal' 51% stake in NBPO

MALAYSIA-based diversified multinational Sime Darby Plantation says a 51% stake in Papua New Guinea company New Britain Palm Oil would be an ideal shareholding following its planned takeover.
Sime Darby eyes 'ideal' 51% stake in NBPO Sime Darby eyes 'ideal' 51% stake in NBPO Sime Darby eyes 'ideal' 51% stake in NBPO Sime Darby eyes 'ideal' 51% stake in NBPO Sime Darby eyes 'ideal' 51% stake in NBPO

Sime is offering an 85% premium on the $A1.96 billion takeover deal, which is conditional on the company obtaining a minimum of 51% acceptance of the NBPOL shares.

Addressing journalists after the company's AGM, company president and group chief executive Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh confirmed that 51% would be an ideal shareholding.

It follows reports that the PNG government plans to increase its stake in the company from 18% to 30%.

"For us having 51% in NBPOL would be ideal," Salleh said.

"This is good because we want to work with PNG government to grow the business. The process requires us to make general offer to all shareholders.

"After we acquire our stakes, we would work out something to up PNG government's stake in NBPOL."

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has written to parent company Sime Darby Berhad acknowledging the general offer for NBPOL and reiterating that Sime Darby's proposed acquisition of a shareholding in NBPOL would not be contrary to PNG's national interest.

NBPOL directors have indicated that they intend to recommend that shareholders accept the offer in the absence of a superior proposal and subject to an independent expert concluding that the deal is fair and reasonable.

The acquisition is expected to be completed by December 19.

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