Little-known Jentayu awaits Khazanah’s reaction to its offer

Little known Jentayu Danaraksa Sdn Bhd, who has submitted a proposal to Khazanah Nasional Bhd to buy assets of Malaysia Airlines System Bhd, including saving the 6,000 jobs that MAS has planned to cut, has yet to prove its means of finance nor the investors who are backing the deal.

Despite confidently claiming that financial backing for the proposal is coming from both domestic and international financiers, mainly from the Middle East, Jentayu directors have eluded all questions to name the financiers till today.

While Jentayu awaits Khazanah to give the nod on its intention to buy-over MAS assets, the latter has already paving the way for the structuring of MAS, having received no less than 28 business proposals and numerous curriculum vitae (CV) from individuals in support of the implementation of the five-year 12-point MAS Recovery Plan (MRP).

This augurs well for the continued progress of the rebuilding of Malaysia’s national icon, the government’s strategic investment fund and 70% MAS’s owner in a statement released on Friday.

It said the support will provide Khazanah more choices for the key leadership announcements which it plans to make by the end of this year as one of the key upcoming milestones in the next three months.

However, Khazanah did not mention that one of the business proposals included a proposal from Jentayu. This clearly not shedding any light on Jentayu’s plans or proposals.

Records from the Companies Commission of Malaysia show Jentayu was incorporated in Johor on September 23, 2014 with two directors, namely Feriz Omar and Abdul Shukor Yusof, holding 70% and 30% shares respectively in the company.

The company has an authorised capital of RM100,000 and zero paid up capital.

Jentayu’s memorandum of association states the company is authorised to carry out business activities as an investment company in Malaysia and any part of the world.

It is interesting to know Jentayu’s impressive line-up of directors, helmed by chairman and former MAS MD/CEO Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman.

He is currently an advocate, solicitor and partner in the law firm of Nik Saghir & Ismail and has more than 35 years experience in managing public and private corporations.

Aziz served MAS since its inception in 1971 as company secretary and director of legal affairs and retired in late 1991 as MD/CEO, a position he held for 10 years.

Shukor, who has graduated from UK, served as aviation analyst at US ratings agency Standard & Poor’s for over 13 years, where he expanded the firm’s coverage of Asia Pacific airlines.
His main interests are in aviation economics and strategy as well as aircraft financing.

Feriz, according to Jentayu website, was former director Malaysian International Merchant Bankers Bhd (MIMB), managing partner for Feriz Omar & Partners, a strategists and advisory firm and chairman of Al Warith Group.

While in MIMB, he gained experience in capital markets, Islamic and conventional debt securities issuance.
Other directors on board are Datuk Seri Zakaria Bahari who was former secretary general in the Ministry of Transport, and prior to that, he was assistant secretary and later as principle assistant secretary to the ministry of finance (MOF) from 1977 to 1987.

Group CEO of Radimax Group Sdn Bhd Datuk Abdul Rahim Mohd Zin and AIA and American Insurance Group (AIG) director Daruis Zainuddin are also sitting on Jentayu’s board.

Rahim previous held directorships in shipping and oil and gas related activities namely in Global Maritime Ventures Bhd, Global Carriers Bhd and Malaysian Bulk Carriers Bhd.

Despite impressive directors’ credentials, Jentayu is on a joyride with all the media attention in its plans to ‘save’ MAS. But the crux of its cause still remains unanswered, and Khazanah’s doors are still tightly shut and most likely, will remain shut for Jentayu.

Analysts view Jentayu as a company that lacks strong details, especially on the financial-backing part, in buying over assets that is of national interest.

MIDF analyst said any company can say they have financial backing and capable of buying MAS assets, not to mention saving 6,000 jobs that Khazanah plans to axe.

“It is easier said than done. But bottom line is, we will not see Khazanah ‘throwing in the towel’ on MAS and let any little-known private entity to strip and sell MAS assets,” MIDF analyst told The Malaysian Reserve.

Khazanah has already set a mechanism for MAS, including the injection of RM6 billion from state funds, relocation of its engineering unit to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and streamlining its bloated headcount.

“This will go on as planned and we do not see any part of MAS’ restructuring will be given to Jentayu,” MIDF said.

Ironically, Jentayu’s claims on the current condition of MAS rings the same tune with MAS Employees Union (Maseu), which explains why Jentayu comes highly recommended by the union.

Question is, since Maseu has been highly vocal in its cause to remove MAS group CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya together with director of engineering Azhari Dahlan and director of human resources Zaharah Zaid, there will be a cause for concern if these executives were asked to resign if Jentayu gets the nod from Khazanah.

To that, Jentayu director Shukor Yusof said Maseu will be given a small stake in MAS to voice out their concerns, clearly showing an ‘unholy alliance’ has already established between Jentayu and Maseu.

Clearly, Maseu has back-tracked on its support the union gave to Khazanah’s “complete overhaul” plan in August this year.

In a recent interview, Abdul Aziz was quoted saying Khazanah and MAS’ plans on restructuring is ‘rubbish’, pointing out that both entities are do not possess the knowledge in aviation business and industry, a tone that strongly reverberates Maseu.

Further, National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (Nufam) has also meet Jentayu directors, although details of the meeting is unclear at press time.

It is known that there is a strong undercurrent between Maseu and Nufam on union membership issues, and it is believed the meeting with Jentayu directors would be to find an amicable solutions to the stand-off between the two unions.

Despite the cloud on uncertainty looming above, Jentayu said it will be status quo for the next two weeks, pending announcement of the appointment of a new investment banker and its proposed Islamic sukuk issuance exercise for MAS assets.

Again, without any details, its a ‘wait and see’ scenario.