By Bridgette Komatep – EM TV, Port Moresby
Public Enterprise Minister, Ben Micah, announced in parliament that the government expects a windfall of K430 million when Sime Darby acquires New Britain Palm Oil Limited (NBPOL).
London Stock Exchange has approved the deal and the government will receive K130 million from the State’s three per cent interest.
As Sime Darby will delist after the takeover, Prime Minister Peter O&rsquO’Neill has approached the company to sell back 30 per cent at discount price with negotiations underway.
“NBPOL started as Harrison Crossfields in the 1960s in West New Britain. Over time as the ownership changed hands, it expanded into Oro, Milne Bay, Morobe and Solomons Islands, with mills in London,” said Mr Micah.
“It’s grown into a very large, fully-integrated agriculture company, with emphasis in sugar, beef, and oil palm.
“Through listing on the stock exchange, ownership has changed over time. Today, Kulim is the major shareholder.
“Sime Darby is a giant and it is bidding for all of Kulims shares, and all other smaller shareholders who together hold 18 per cent. The London Stock Exchange has approved the deal, so we will receive K130 million from the State’s three per cent.”
He said from its eight per cent, the WNB Provincial Government will receive about K300 million.
Mr Micah said part of the condition of the acquisition was that it was not contrary to Papua New Guinea’s national interest. Sime Darby will delist after the takeover.
Minister Micah said London Stock Exchange has approved Sime Darby’s takeover of NBPOL, at 7.15 pounds per share, which translates to K28 per share.
It has decided to acquire all the shares of smaller shareholders this includes the Papua New Guinea Government’s share through IPBC, which owns three per cent and West New Britain Provincial Government owns eight per cent.