Business Times

Carsons-controlled Singapore group acquires new plantation entity in Rs 4.2 bln buyout

Goodhope Asia Holdings Ltd (GAHL), the Singapore-based plantations’ sector holding company of the Colombo-based Carsons Group has taken over three operating entities of Premium Nutrients Bhd.(PNB), a specialty fats manufacturer with operations in Malaysia and India.

GAHL said in a statement that it acquired a 100% stake in the three operating companies -- Premium Vegetable Oils Sdn.Bhd.(PVO), and Premium Fats Sdn.Bhd.(PF) with each having manufacturing facilities in Malaysia, and Arani Agro Oil Industries Ltd.(AAO) which has a manufacturing plant in Andra Pradesh, India.

“The total consideration paid by GAHL group for a 100% stake in the said three entities is RM 117.95 million (approx.Rs.4.27 billion), which has not only brought in an established business with over 25 years of expertise and resource-base built, but also provided access to an existing customer base of leading international brands,” it said.

K. C.Vignarajah, a minority shareholder at Carsons and public interest activist on governance structures in quoted companies in Sri Lanka, while welcoming the acquisition, noted that such deals would be ‘unhealthy’ to Carsons’ controlling interests if the proceeds are not equitably distributed among all including independent, minority shareholders.

At the recent AGMs of the four companies in the Carsons group, issues of governance, transparency and transfer of assets to subsidiary companies were raised and calls made by Mr Vignarajah for more transparency in company transactions.

GAHL said in a statement that this acquisition will directly place the group as an integrated player with significant downstream operations into specialized customer and product segments. This will further compliment the expansion in the upstream plantations and create a secure outlet for its’ increasing produce. More importantly enables GAHL to directly gain access to value added segments of the industry moving from its’ current commodity business, enable continuous product development through R&D and reach more specialized B2B customers.

Premium Nutrients, is a pioneer in the edible oils & fats industry with over 25 years of expertise in the manufacture of specialty fats. The company has innovated Specialty fats for the bakery, confectionary, creamers and ice-cream industries through its advanced research and Development capabilities for customer –specific food ingredient solution development.

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