April 27, 2012 / 3:10 AM / 6 years ago

Malaysia's Felda Global Ventures offers 2.2 bln shares in IPO

KUALA LUMPUR, April 27 (Reuters) - Malaysia’s Felda Global Ventures Holdings will offer up to 2.2 billion shares as it seeks a listing on the local stock exchange, making it the third biggest initial public offer in the Southeast Asian country after Maxis and Petronas Chemicals.

The listing, expected to be launched in May or June, will provide Malaysia’s $27 billion palm oil sector with more financial firepower and monetise assets for the government.

The IPO comprises 1.2 billion shares for sale to institutional and selected investors and another 980 million shares to the public, according to the draft prospectus of the offer filed late on Thursday.

All the shares will have equal ranking but the pricing for the IPO was not determined as yet, the prospectus showed. The cash raised will go to state-owned Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA), which fully owns the company.

FELDA has hired CIMB Investment Bank, Maybank Investment Bank and Morgan Stanley to be joint global co-ordinators, while JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank are joint bookrunners.

FELDA is a statutory body set up in the 1950s to help Malays, the largest ethnic group in Malaysia, fight rural poverty. After the listing Felda’s share of the company will drop to 40 percent.

FGVH is the third largest oil palm plantation operator in the world based on planted hectarage, FELDA said, while its owned 49 percent unit Felda Holdings is the world’s largest producer of crude palm oil.

Plans to list the company had sparked resistance from some of 113,000 farmers who own part of Felda Holdings. They feared a loss of control in an asset they had invested in for generations but a legal challenge they mounted has been dismissed.

Despite choppy economic conditions and a widely expected general election in June, Malaysian companies are continuing to proceed with their IPOs.

In addition to Felda Global’s listing this year, two other companies — Gas Malaysia Bhd and Intergrated Healthcare Holdings — are pushing ahead their IPOs worth $238.2 million and $1.5 billion, respectively. (Reporting by Siva Sithraputhran; Editing by Niluksi Koswanage)

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