Malaysia’s LTAT bids for Boustead Plantations after rival deal collapses

By Poonam Behura and Yantoultra Ngui

(Reuters) – Malaysia’s military pension fund Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) has offered to buy the shares in palm oil firm Boustead Plantations it does not already own for about 1.1 billion ringgit ($233.10 million) after a rival deal fell through.

In a statement late on Wednesday, LTAT said it would make an offer for the firm at 1.55 ringgit per share, subject to regulatory approvals, the same price that had been offered by rival Kuala Lumpur Kepong (KLK) for a 33% stake.

LTAT owns around 68% in Boustead Plantations both directly and indirectly via its wholly-owned Boustead Holdings. The offer values the company at 3.47 billion ringgit.

Boustead Plantations shares rose 9% to 1.38 ringgit in early trade on Thursday, rebounding from a two-month low in its last session on Monday before trading was halted.

Boustead Plantations did not respond immediately to a request for comment on whether it backed LTAT’s offer. LTAT’s statement came after KLK said its stake purchase deal had been terminated, with Boustead Plantations to return a deposit of 229.2 million ringgit.

KLK said a condition to finalise the share acquisition it had announced in August would not be satisfied by the cut-off date of Oct. 6, but did not give further details.

When the deal was announced, KLK said on completion of the stake purchase, it would make a takeover offer alongside LTAT and Boustead Holdings and delist the firm.

($1 = 4.7190 ringgit)

(Reporting by Poonam Behura in Bengaluru, Yantoultra Ngui in Singapore, and Rozanna Latiff in Kuala Lumpur; Editing by Nivedita Bhattacharjee, Andrea Ricci and Jamie Freed)