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Malaysia's Tradewinds to buy up rest of Bernas
KUALA LUMPUR |
KUALA LUMPUR Oct 28 (Reuters) - Malaysian planter Tradewinds TWMM.KL said on Wednesday it was offering to buy up the rest of state-run rice importer Bernas (PNAS.KL) it did not own for 670 million ringgit ($196.3 million).
Tradewinds, which holds a 62.3 percent stake in Bernas, said in a statement it would buy the remaining shares for 2.08 ringgit per share in cash.
Bernas shares closed up 1.5 percent at 1.99 ringgit.
Tradewinds also said it would maintain Bernas' stock market listing. Under Malaysian regulations, at least 25 percent of Bernas' shares must be held by public shareholders.
"As such if Bernas fails to maintain the required shareholding spread ... Tradewinds will use commercially viable endeavours to rectify the shortfall in the public shareholding spread," the firm said in a filing to the stock exchange.
In August, Tradewinds bought stakes from Wang Tak Company Ltd and Gandingan Bersepadu Sdn Bhd, which owned 31.52 and 22.24 percent of Bernas then.
Bernas holds the sole licence to import rice into Malaysia and is also the buyer of last resort for local paddy farmers. Under a 1996 privatisation deal with the government, Bernas has to ensure sufficient supply and price stability for rice in the country. (Reporting by Niluksi Koswanage; Editing by David Holmes) ($1=3.413 Malaysian Ringgit)
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