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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Boustead exercising option on two estates

PETALING JAYA: Boustead Holdings Bhd is exercising its first call option to buy back two oil palm estates totalling 3,771ha located in Tasek Glugor, Penang, and Pekan, Pahang, from Golden Crop Returns Bhd (GCRB) for at least RM110mil.

In a statement yesterday, Boustead said its subsidiaries Boustead Rimba Nilai Sdn Bhd and Boustead Eldred Sdn Bhd had served a notice of exercise pursuant to the call option agreement entered into by Boustead with GCRB in November 2005.

The two estates were part of a sale and leaseback agreement between Boustead and GCRB in which the former had sold and subsequently leased back the estates for up to three, five and seven years. The exercise was to facilitate the securitisation transaction involving the issuance of RM442mil Sukuk al-Ijarah by GCRB and an RM300mil Musyarakah facility obtained from Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera.

Boustead said it would accept the sale of the plantation assets from GCRB upon payment of the aggregate exercise price of no less than RM110mil on or before Oct 22 as well as the servicing agent's fee.

It added that after completion of the proposed exercise of first call option, the company might explore the possibility of disposing the plantation assets to Al-Hadharah Boustead Real Estate Investment Trust (Reit).

“Further information on this matter shall be announced once the terms of the transaction, if any, are finalised,” Boustead said.

In a separate announcement, the manager of Al-Hadharah Boustead Reit said the fund would consider the acquisition of the estates if such an opportunity arose.

The Al-Hadharah Boustead Reit announced that in its maiden year, it registered a net profit of RM49.8mil.

To improve the performance of the fund, chairman of Boustead REIT Managers Sdn Bhd Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin said in a statement a combination of strategies - existing plantations to be managed for maximum returns and selected plantation assets will be acquired - would be adopted.

By The Star

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