Malaysia's Felda Global to hire investment banks next week-paper

KUALA LUMPUR Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:34pm EDT

KUALA LUMPUR Oct 14 (Reuters) - Malaysia's Felda Global Ventures Holdings will hire investment banks as early as next week to arrange its initial public offering that may be one of the biggest in Malaysia, the Business Times reported on Friday.

The newspaper cited Felda Global Ventures president and CEO, Sabri Ahmad, as saying the firm will hire two Malaysian investment banks and one or two other foreign merchant bankers via a closed tender exercise.

"It will definitely be larger than MSM Malaysia Holdings IPO," Sabri said in the news report, referring to the listing of its sugar arm that was valued at 2.4 billion ringgit.

Felda Global Ventures proposed listing could be bigger than Bumi Armada's $890 million IPO this year and signals some optimism within weaker market conditions that has already delayed and even cancelled IPOs globally.

Sabri did not give a value for the new listing that is scheduled for the middle of next year.

Felda Global officials were not immediately available for comment.

Felda Global is the commercial arm of the Federal Land Development Authority, the world's largest owner of mostly oil palms and rubber estates that total 850,000 hectares.

The land authority helps rural settlers develop agriculture commodities. The land belonging to these small farmers is roughly half a million hectares while the rest comes under Felda.

In a separate interview with a local television station, Mohammad Isa Samad, the chairman of the land authority said land belonging to the small farmers will not be included in the listing. (Reporting by Niluksi Koswanage; Editing by Matt Driskill)