FGV sues ex-directors and officers for RM514m

Modified 23 Nov 2018, 1:53 pm

Felda Global Ventures Bhd (FGV) has filed a suit against 14 of its former directors or executives to recover RM514 million.

The sum was to cover the losses due to the 2014 acquisition of Asian Plantation Limited (APL) – a Singapore-based company with assets in Sarawak but listed on the London Stock Exchange.

According to a filing to Bursa Malaysia today, the company has accused the defendants of failing to discharge their respective fiduciary duty, duty of fidelity and/or duty to exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence.

The 14 individuals are:

  • Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah – former group president/CEO and non-independent non-executive director
  • Farisan Mokhtar – former senior vice-president of business development for downstream cluster
  • Rasydan Alias Mohamed – former senior general manager, downstream cluster
  • Ahmad Tifli Mohd Talha – former CFO
  • Mohd Isa Abdul Samad – former chairperson and non-executive director
  • Omar Salim – former non-independent non-executive director
  • Noor Ehsanuddin Mohd Harun Narrashid – former independent non-executive director
  • Yahaya Abd Jabar – former senior independent non-executive director
  • Faizoull Ahmad – former non-independent non-executive director
  • Ismee Ismail – former independent non-executive director
  • Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah – former independent non-executive director
  • Sulaiman Mahbob – former independent non-executive director
  • Nozirah Bahari – former non-independent non-executive director
  • Fazlur Rahman Ebrahim – former independent non-executive director

FGV had acquired APL for a total cash consideration of £120mil, or about RM628mil at the time, at a 5.4 percent premium over APL's weighted average price.

Last year, FGV began investigating the deal due to, among others, allegations that much of the land acquired by APL was unsuitable for oil palm plantations.

FGV was listed on the KLSE in 2012. It was the second biggest IPO in the world that year, with a reference price of RM4.55.

The prospectus was launched by then prime minister Najib Abdul Razak.

Soon after the IPO, FGV's share price went on a steady downtrend which has persisted until today. FGV's share price closed at RM1.17 today.

According to Bernama, in a separate filing to Bursa Malaysia, FGV said that the forensic investigations into the acquisition of APL had concluded.

The board of directors is still in the process of reviewing the findings and legal advice of the three completed forensic investigations, as stated earlier, namely, the investment in FGV Cambridge Nanosystems Ltd, the acquisition of the Troika condominiums and the lease of company cars.

Two forensic investigations are in progress, namely the investment in FGV Green Energy Sdn Bhd and the acquisition of Yapidmas plantations in Sabah.

In its statement dated Aug 28, 2018, the board had also reported that there were further on-going internal investigations into six matters.

The six matters included, among others, open credit lines, poor purchasing trading practices and poor palm oil sales that have resulted in bad debts of approximately RM100 million.

This also included direct awards of procurement contracts in breach of best practice and the critical shortage of workers between May 2016 and April 2018, that resulted in financial losses exceeding RM170 million over the period.

On the above-mentioned investigations, the board has taken and is in the process of taking the appropriate action.

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