Businessman Syed Mokhtar Albukhary’s plan to take over Penang Port Sdn Bhd is close to conclusion, and his talks with Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) to buy a controlling block in NCB Holdings Bhd, which wholly owns Northport in Port Klang, are still going on, industry sources say.
“With Penang Port, it’s only one or two clauses left to be negotiated... with NCB it’s still on-going at the shareholder level,” a source close to the tycoon tells KiniBiz.
While Penang Port is more or less in the bag, with an announcement likely after the general election, NCB is a little trickier, as it is listed company.
NCB officials when contacted declined to comment on Syed Mokhtar’s entry, as they were unaware of what was going on. This is likely to be because talks are at the shareholder level.
About a month ago, an aide of Syed Mokhtar (left) had denied any interest in NCB.
“It is at a very, very high level,” the source explains.
PNB via its various funds has about 49 percent equity interest in NCB.
NCB’s main assets are its wholly owned unit Northport (M) Bhd, which operates a container terminal in Port Klang and Kontena Nasional Sdn Bhd, one of the largest haulage companies in the country.
Interestingly enough NCB’s second largest shareholder is national carrier MISC Bhd which has 15.73 percent equity interest in the port operator.
MISC had hived off its container shipping operations, and hence has no reason to have any shareholding in NCB.
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