June 25, 2015 / 8:06 AM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 2-Rajawali wants bigger Felda stake if Felda seeks control of Eagle High

* Felda’s offer for 37 pct of Eagle High is too high-analysts

* Felda shares down over 6 pct after announcing offer

* Five bidders for Rajawali stake in Nusantara Infrastructure (Adds no comment from Felda, clarifies that Felda is the world’s third biggest palm oil plantation operator)

By Cindy Silviana and Eveline Danubrata

JAKARTA, June 25 (Reuters) - Indonesia’s Rajawali Group said on Thursday it would like to hold at least 21 percent of Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd if the Malaysian firm decides to seek a controlling stake in Rajawali unit PT Eagle High Plantations Tbk.

Earlier this month, the world’s third-largest palm oil plantation operator Felda proposed to buy a 37 percent stake in Eagle High for $680 million and said it would consider boosting that holding to a controlling stake.

Shares in Felda have fallen more than 6 percent since the offer was announced, with analysts saying it was paying too much for the proposed deal, and may have to take on more debt to finance it.

A Malaysian opposition lawmaker had also urged Felda, whose shareholders include Malaysian state funds, to abort the deal because of the “outrageous price”.

Under Felda’s proposed offer, Rajawali will hold 2.55 percent of Felda, but Rajawali Managing Director Darjoto Setyawan said on Thursday that holding would have to jump to 21 percent if it was to cede control of Eagle High.

“It can be a form of share swap,” he told reporters. A 21 percent stake in Felda would be worth $360 million based on current market prices.

Felda declined to comment on whether it would be open to a further share swap with Rajawali.

The deal would give Eagle High access to Felda’s downstream capabilities while allowing the Malaysian firm to take advantage of Eagle’s land bank, the companies have said, resulting in reduced operating costs.

Setyawan said several parties had expressed interest in the Eagle High stake, but that Felda was the most suitable suitor.

Rajawali is also selling its entire 21 percent stake in infrastructure developer PT Nusantara Infrastructure Tbk . Setyawan said there were five bidders for the stake, and that Rajawali hoped to decide on the buyer by early July. (Additional reporting by Al-Zaquan Amer Hamzah in KUALA LUMPUR; Editing by Edwina Gibbs and Miral Fahmy)

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