We will not sell stake in FGV, says Shahrir

Dismissing rumours of talks with two Indonesian billionaires, Felda chairman Shahrir Samad says there could be some other deals, restructuring in the works.

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PETALING JAYA: Felda chairman Shahrir Abdul Samad has reiterated that its biggest subsidiary, Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad (FGV) is not for sale.

He dismissed reports that have emerged again recently of proposed talks between Felda and two Indonesian billionaires, Martua Sitorus and Peter Sondakh, over the sale of equity in the public listed entity.

“We will not sell our share in the entity as assets in FGV were ours at one time. We have to look after the interests of the settlers and Felda.

“It does not mean that when we refuse to sell there are no deals or restructuring.

“There are two representatives from Felda sitting on the board of FGV. We asked for three but approval was given for two,” Shahrir was quoted as saying by theSun.

Shahrir, who is Johor Baru MP, was speaking to reporters after attending a consensus and understanding seminar for Felda Wilayah Trolak settlers in Ipoh yesterday.

In June, Reuters had reported that discussions between Felda and the two Indonesians had stalled because of the boardroom and senior management woes in the company at the time. FGV’s CEO and two other top executives were put on enforced leave pending an internal inquiry, while FGV chairman Isa Samad quit.

Reuters had quoted sources as saying that under the planned deal, FGV would first take over the Indonesian palm plantation assets of Sitorus and Sondakh and pay for it through significant stakes in the enlarged FGV.

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Sitorus is the co-founder of Singapore-listed Wilmar International, the world’s largest palm oil processor, while Sondakh controls plantation-to-mining conglomerate Rajwali.

Meanwhile, Shahrir said that Felda holds 730 million units of shares in FGV, which constitutes about 33.6% equity in the company, and the dividends are paid to the settlers and employees.

“If we want to settle our problems, selling the shares is not the solution, but if there are any assets to be liquidated we will do it.

“One example is the sale of the hotel in London as our core business is palm oil production,” he said, according to theSun.

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