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Sime offers £1.07b for London-listed PNG firm

Offer is viewed as pricey, but group sees rare opportunity to expand geographically, upstream

Published Thu, Oct 9, 2014 · 09:50 PM

Kuala Lumpur

WITH a letter of support from the Papua New Guinea prime minister in hand, Malaysia's Sime Darby on Thursday launched a £1.07 billion (S$2.2 billion) takeover offer for PNG's New Britain Palm Oil Ltd (NBPOL). The offer is viewed as pricey given the whopping 85 per cent premium, but the conglomerate defended it as a rare opportunity to acquire a business that could pave the way for expansion geographically as well as into the value chain upstream.

Sime's takeover offer is conditional on a minimum 51 per cent acceptance, and if successful, will see Sime delist NBPOL from the London Stock Exchange and re-list it on Bursa Malaysia or the Singapore Exchange. NBPOL shares are dual-listed on the PNG bourse.

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