Malaysia's KLK in talks with Africa-focused Equatorial Palm Oil for a stake

KUALA LUMPUR Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:40pm EDT

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KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia's third-largest listed plantation company Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd (KLKK.KL) said it is in talks with Equatorial Palm Oil PLC (PALO.L) to take a stake or buy up all the shares in the Africa-focused, London-listed planter.

Listed palm oil firms in Malaysia and Singapore have increasingly turned to setting up operations in Africa, as land in top palm oil producer Indonesia becomes more scarce after years of rapid development.

KL Kepong told the London Stock Exchange late on Tuesday that any offer would likely be settled in cash. Based on a closing price of 5.85 pence per share, Equatorial Palm Oil has a value of 11.5 million pounds ($18.7 million).

KL Kepong also said it had yet to decide on whether it wanted to fund Equatorial Palm Oil's plantation venture in Liberia. Equatorial Palm Oil plans to develop over 168,000 hectares of land in the west African country.

(Reporting by Niluksi Koswanage; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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