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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Isa Samad: Get the facts right about FGVH listing

Stakeholders embroiled in the debate surrounding Felda Global Ventures Holdings' (FGVH) planned initial public offering (IPO) can find greater coherence if they get all their facts right, said Felda chairperson Isa Samad.

To move forward in listing FGVH, he stressed that one has to be able to distinguish between political and economic interests, in order to arrive at an objective view of things.

"In recent setbacks, the political distortion has made the people who mattered most in this venture confused.

"This has derailed a lot of the work that we have done in trying to clearly explain to our settlers that going forward with the IPO will draw more benefits," he said after witnessing the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Yayasan Felda and City and Guilds UK, to forge closer cooperation to develop Felda's English Language Centre (FELC) recently.

Isa also assured that while recent developments would suggest that Koperasi Permodalan Felda (KPF) will most certainly be out of FGVH's IPO plans, the paramount priority remains that of the interest of its settlers.

"Furthermore, what is holding us back is only the few who have caused an unnecessary halt to an initiative, that will unlock a great deal of benefits for not only them but fellow settlers. We need all to have their facts ironed out to get to a clearer picture.

"We are very focused to ensure that all measures to communicate the potential economic benefits to our settlers will be rolled out.

PM's vision

"If unsure, the settlers can always come to us to get to a better understanding about this," he said.

A court injunction was filed by eight settlers two weeks ago to prevent KPF handing its stake in Felda Holdings to FGVH, fearing, they would lose control of an asset that derives earnings from processing palm oil and managing estates.

In response, Felda proposed to set up a special-purpose vehicle (SPV) to ensure the settlers benefit directly from FGVH's proposed listing and all future profits from the listed business, replacing the initial proposed role of KPF.

The whole point of publicly listing FGVH, Isa said, is also the vision of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, when tabling the Budget 2012 last year.

"His (Najib's) intention is to unleash the potential value as well as raise funds for the company to be a global conglomerate. We want to be the world's largest listed plantation entity and this will be the first big step," he added.

Isa also said it was high time for Felda to move on to greater heights and going the IPO way is very sound strategy.

- Bernama

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