KUALA LUMPUR: Kulim (M) Bhd will take control of 40,645ha of oil palm land in Indonesia by acquiring 75 per cent of PT Wisesa Inspirasi Nusantara (PT WIN) for US$43.44 million (RM139 million).
Chairman Datuk Kamaruzzaman Abu Kassim said Kulim was acquiring a greenfield project in central Kalimantan, which will enable the group to diversify its geographical presence into other locations suitable for oil palm cultivation, apart from Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
Kamaruzzaman said with the completion of the acquisition, Kulim's landbank will increase by 80 per cent to more than 90,000ha from 49,551ha currently.
He said the move was consistent with Kulim's long-term business plan to expand its oil palm landbank.
"With oil palm land getting scarce in Malaysia, Kulim is proactively looking at steps to significantly increase its landbank, particularly in neighbouring countries," he said in a statement yesterday.
He said the choice of Kalimantan was made given the group's previous experience in the region, besides the biophysical suitability of the area.
Kulim managing director Ahamad Mohamad said the preliminary High Conservation Value (HCV) assessments for all targeted areas to be acquired have been completed and it are satisfied that they will comply with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) requirements.
Ahamad said the acquisition will pave the way for the group to tap the expertise of its local partner, PT Graha Sumber Berkah (PT GSB).
In a filing to Bursa Malaysia yesterday, Kulim said it has entered into a conditional share sale agreement with PT GSB for the proposed acquisition.
PT GSB will effectively hold the remaining 25 per cent stake in PT WIN.
Besides developing the oil palm plantation jointly, both Kulim and PT GSB will also explore opportunities in downstream and upstream oil and gas sectors.