Sime Darby seeks $500 mln by listing automobile unit-sources

KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 Fri Jul 4, 2014 4:40am EDT

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 (Reuters) - Malaysia's Sime Darby Bhd , the world's top oil palm planter by landbank size, is seeking to raise about $500 million by listing its automobile unit as early as this year, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

Sime Darby has invited banks to make a pitch to win the IPO mandate, they added. The plantations-to-motoring conglomerate has earlier flagged possible listings of some units to improve valuations.

Sime Darby officials did not immediately reply to a Reuters email seeking comment. The people declined to be identified as they were not authorised speak to the media. (Reporting By Anuradha Raghu and Ngui Yantoultra; Editing by Denny Thomas and Miral Fahmy)