The government has announced it will not supportthe current partial takeover bid of New Beitain Palm Oil Limited.
This is in line with its policy to encourage more Papua New Guinea ownership of businesses.
The government’said foreign investors will not be allowed to own more than 50% of companies that are in sectors oPNG’s national interestosuch as agriculture.
Minister for Trade, Commerce &Industry Richard Maru’saidthe government has begun a process of all industries, and one ofthese is Oil Palm. As it’stands, Papua New Guineas are minority owners inthe Oil Palm industry.
This is why Mr. Maru’saidthe government will not allowthe Malaysian company, Kulim, to acquire anymore shares from ther New Beitain Palm Oil Limited shareholders.
“The oil palm inthe agriculture sector is too important forPNG therefore, any takeover and increase of shares which involves compromising national interest,the government will not allow,” he said.
Mr. Maru’saidthe government will also, inthe future, ask Kulim to sell down some of its shares tothe respective Provincial Governments wherethe assets of NBeOL are located.
A new provision was included inthe Takeovers Code, which givesthe Securities Commission oPNG powers to block any takeover, which it’sees contrary to NationalInterest. “I’ve already invokedthe provisions under law to givethe Securities Commissionthe absolute power to block any takeover or increasing shareholding by any foreign country when we believe is not inthe national interest,” Maru’said.
Mr. Maru’saidthe government will do everything under its powers to ensure that NBeOL does not fall inthe hands of one single shareholder.
The Prime Minister is expected to make an announcement soon of a major international player’s interest in PNG rsquo;s Oil Palm sector.
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