EPF wants more for MISC stake
KUALA LUMPUR: Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) should increase its RM8.8 billion buyout offer for Malaysian shipping group MISC Bhd, its biggest minority shareholder said.
"We are looking at a higher price for the shares than what Petronas is offering now," said Tan Sri Azlan Zainol, chief executive officer of the Employees Provident Fund, which owns 9.6 per cent of the world's second-largest liquefied natural gas shipping company.
"It has not been finalised yet. We will see how it goes," he said in an interview here last Friday.
Petronas, offered RM5.30 per share in January for the remaining stake it doesn't already own.
Minority shareholders Penang Development Corp and Pacific Mutual Fund Bhd earlier said the offer is too low.
MISC completed a rights issue at RM7 per share in February 2010. The stock tumbled 44 per cent from the rights price until Petronas announced its buyout offer on January 31, as the company booked losses and exited the liner industry. It has since rebounded 19 per cent to RM5.28, closer to the offer price.
MISC shuttered its container-ship business last year to focus on LNG tankers after the cargo-box unit made US$789 million (RM2.4 billion) of losses over three years due to global overcapacity and falling rates.
Last week, it reported fourth-quarter net income of US$231.9 million, recovering from a US$571.6 million loss during the same period a year earlier.
Petronas owns almost 63 per cent of MISC shares, according Bloomberg data. A buyout will provide it with greater flexibility in deciding MISC's strategic direction, the group said.
Malaysia's Employees Provident Fund is the second-biggest state-run pension fund in the Asia-Pacific. MISC operates the world's second biggest fleet of LNG ships after Qatar Gas Transport Co, according to Clarkson plc, the world's largest shipbroker. Bloomberg