Tuesday, 31 January 2012

DBE major shareholder, Maybank PE in talks today

DBE is controlled by the Ding family, headed by its patron Ding Chong Chow, who is also the founder and executive chairman of the company. The meeting comes just weeks after KN Kenanga Holdings Bhd made a presentation to CI Holdings Bhd group managing director Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani. Kenanga values DBE at 14 sen a share, the company said in a report early this month. "Based on our earnings projections, we reckon that the stock should be valued at 14 sen a share, representing nine times 2012 price-to-earnings ratio," wrote Kenanga's analyst Chan Ken Yew in a report titled "A better future". Two weeks ago, DBE told the stock exchange that it is in discussion with a shareholder of CI Holdings which is at a preliminary stage. Business Times understands that the Maybank PE valuation is slightly higher than the Kenanga offer, and it could lead to DBE being taken private. The offer is said to be in range of between 18 sen and 20 sen a share. Last year alone, several poultry and food makers had underlined plans to take their companies private either by the owners directly or with the help of PE firms. Poultry tycoon Tan Sri Francis Lau Tuang Nguang outlined plans last year to take Leong Hup Holdings, the country's largest integrated poultry operator private, while fellow Johor-based food producer Mamee Double-Decker Bhd was also taken private. "Food business is recession-proof, and PE firms are keen, as they can either relist these firms here or overseas at a later stage," said an analyst. Also, QL Resources Bhd, the biggest producer of surimi, surimi-based products and fishmeal manufacturer in Malaysia, bought a 23.8 per cent stake in the Klang-based poultry company Lay Hong Bhd to help expand its own food business. The biggest privatisation of a food-cum-poultry producer, however, is s unfolding here, with the offer from Johor Corp Bhd and PE firm CVC Capital Partners Asia III Ltd to take QSR Brands Bhd and KFC Holdings Bhd, which also owns the poultry firm Ayamas Bhd private, in a deal valued at RM5.3 billion. There is interest in DBE because the company has cleaned up its balance sheet and debts over the past couple of years and is set to register its first full-year profit in six years for the year ended December 31 2011. Up to the nine months ended September 20 2011, DBE registered a net profit of RM1.194 million. In 2010, it suffered a net loss of RM3.71 million, while in 2009 and 2008, its net loss was at RM2.9 million and RM20.40 million respectively. Apart from the two bidders, Datuk Raymond Chan Boon Siew, the controlling stakeholder of Sagajuta (Sabah) Sdn Bhd, is also said to be interested in DBE.


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