(Adds background and comment)
KUALA LUMPUR Jan 31 Malaysian state oil company
Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) has made an 8.8
billion ringgit ($2.85 billion) offer to buy out other
shareholders in shipping unit MISC Bhd and delist it.
Petronas, which owns 62.7 percent of MISC, made an offer for
the remaining shares at 5.30 ringgit per share, according to a
stock exchange filing on Thursday.
Petronas, which provided no reason for its plans, said it
intends to delist MISC from the local stock exchange if its
offer is accepted.
"It makes for sense for Petronas, but the market loses a
large liquid stock. Nevertheless, it's a sweet deal for those
who own MISC stock, since the offer price is at an 0.8 ringgit
premium," a Kuala Lumpur-based fund manager with a foreign asset
management company said.
"Without the shareholders breathing down their neck,
Petronas can concentrate on supporting this company," he added.
MISC closed down 0.89 percent at 4.45 ringgit per share on
MISC's financial performance was disappointing in the third
quarter as losses from its petroleum and chemical segment
alongside a smaller contribution from its heavy engineering
division took a toll.
Petronas bought a 29 percent stake in MISC in 1997 and then
raised it to over 60 percent the following year. The increase
helped MISC purchase ailing Konsortium Perkapalan, a shipping
company controlled by a son of then prime minister Mahathir
Mohamad. MISC paid for the deal in cash and by assuming debts
owed by Perkapalan.
($1 = 3.0830 Malaysian ringgit)
(Reporting By Siva Sithraputhran; Editing by Niluksi Koswanage
and Jane Baird)