Malaysian tycoon to take commodity firm Tradewinds private

KUALA LUMPUR Mon Dec 24, 2012 5:15am EST

KUALA LUMPUR Dec 24 (Reuters) - Malaysian tycoon Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary will take palm oil to sugar processor Tradewinds (M) Bhd private in a cash deal worth at least 1.5 billion ringgit ($490.20 million), Maybank Investment said on Monday.

Maybank Investment, which advises Syed Mokhtar's investment companies, did not give any rationale for the deal. Analysts who follow Tradewinds said all of Syed Mokhtar's commodity businesses might be grouped under one company and re-listed.

In January, Syed Mokhtar's autos-to property conglomerate DRB-HICOM Bhd acquired domestic carmaker Proton in a $412 million deal.

In this latest deal, Maybank Investment said four investment companies would offer 9.30 ringgit per Tradewinds Bhd share, representing a premium of 20 percent over its Friday close of 7.75 ringgit.

Syed Mokhtar's investment companies own about 45 percent of Tradewinds.

Tradewinds and the investment companies would then embark on a mandatory general offer for its units Tradewinds Plantations Bhd and national rice distribution monopoly Padiberas Nasional Bhd, Maybank Investment said.

The companies would buy the stakes they do not own in Tradewinds Plantations for 4.03 ringgit per share and Padiberas at 3.25 ringgit per share, Maybank Investment said without disclosing the number of shares.

Shares in Tradewinds and its two units will resume trade on Wednesday after being suspended on Monday. ($1 = 3.0600 Malaysian ringgit) (Reporting by Niluksi Koswanage. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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