KUALA LUMPUR: Tycoon Datuk Mokhzani Mahathir may take over Petrol One Resources Bhd (PetOne), bankers familiar with the matter said on Monday.
PetOne, Malaysia’s first publicly-traded oil and gas storage provider, has seen its shares suspended from trading since May 22. Bursa Malaysia suspended the stock after the company technically defaulted on some loans.
Business Times understands that Mokhzani’s right-hand man, Yeow Kheng Chew, is leading the talks to take over PetOne.
Mokhzani, which according to Forbes magazine is Malaysia’s 15th richest man with a US$980 million (RM3.2 billion) fortune, is said to be interested in PetOne for its listing status.
“The plan is to inject some of his privatelyowned oil and gas assets, which are not ripe yet for an initial public offering, into PetOne.”
It is understood that Kencana Capital Sdn Bhd, Mokhzani’s private vehicle, made an offer to RHB Capital Bhd, which is the major creditor of PetOne, earlier this month.
The deal comes with a haircut, which amounts to a cash settlement of one-fifth of PetOne’s total debts.
“Basically, they are offering 20 sen for every RM1 debt that PetOne has on the books,” said a banker.
PetOne got itself into the bad books of Bursa after it was reprimanded for the delay in announcing it had defaulted on its term loans totalling RM83.4 million.
PetOne and its unit, Arus Dermaga Sdn Bhd, defaulted on the term loans provided by RHB Bank (L) Ltd and RHB Bank Bhd on March 31
2010 and January 31 2011, respectively.
The total outstanding amount of the defaulted credit facilities to RHB as at December 31 2011 was RM83.4 million, which represented 249.5 per cent of the company’s net assets of RM28.32 million and 62 per cent of the company’s total
borrowings of RM134.456 million as of September 30 2011, the company had previously told Bursa Malaysia.
If the PetOne deal does go through, it will be the second oil and gas deal struck by Mokhzani after the SapuraCrest Petroleum Bhd-Kencana Petroleum Bhd merger.
Kencana Capital had also boosted its stake in Yinson Holdings Bhd from below five per cent to 18 per cent this year.
The emergence of Kencana Capital has seen Yinson shares rising to the RM4.88 level currently.
With Mokhzani backing Yinson, the Johorbased company had told the stock exchange that it wants to buy Norway-listed Fred Olsen Production ASA for 9.40 Norwegian krone (RM5.20) per share, or a total of RM551.34 million, The deal, if successful, will propel Yinson to No. 6 on the global floating production, storage
and offloading vessel league table.