Report: Chinese firm, Syed Mokhtar keen on FGV stake

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Chinese government-owned China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation (Cofco) and tycoon Syed Mokhtar Albukhary are reportedly keen on a stake in ailing Felda Global Ventures Holding Bhd (FGV).

According to The Edge Markets, FGV is in talks with both the companies, although FGV CEO and president Zakaria Arshad refused to name companies involved. 

Zakaria was quoted saying that the new strategic shareholder would be one that would complement FGV and that the goal was to help the two firms grow together. 

Talk on FGV's attempt to seek a partner resurfaced after the botched deal with Indonesia's PT Eagle High Plantations Tbk. 

Critics had pointed out that FGV had proposed to acquire a 37 percent stake in Eagle High at a price that far exceeded what the company's shares were worth on the open market. 

Following this, Tradewinds Group, which is part of Syed Mokhtar's interest and a major regional plantations player, was speculated to be in talks with FGV. 

Cofco is among the largest food processing and manufacturing conglomerates in the world. The firm ranks 121 on the Fortune Global 500 list.

Apart from its food processing industries, other possible synergies with FGV includes Cofco's edible oils business. 

The FGV saga began in 2012 when the company was listed on the KLSE with an IPO price of RM4.55, allowing the company to raise RM10 billion.

Large numbers of participants in the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) schemes had invested in FGV shares at the time. However, FGV's share prices had steadily declined over the years.

FGV's share prices reached an all-time-low of RM1.19 in August 2015. As of midday today, FGV's shares were traded at RM2.11, after a morning rally following the publication of The Edge Market's report.

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