Felda lists restructuring methods for turnaround within next 2 years

The Federal Land Development Authority (Felda), with new board members, has put in place a number of restructuring methods for a turn-around within the next two years, said chairman Tan Sri Megat Zaharuddin Megat Mohd Nor.

He said the methods include restructuring bank loans and obtaining an extra lifeline for payments, as well as disposing of some company’s assets within the country and overseas.

“We have assets in London, namely a hostel, apartment and hotel, alongside hotels in Kuching and Kota Kinabalu, with some land in certain places,” he told reporters at a special media briefing in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

According to Megat Zaharuddin, the assets are worth between RM2.1 billion and RM2.2 billion, which would be used to repay the government agency’s debt of RM8 billion.

He said Felda aims to reduce its debt to RM6.5 billion by year-end, from the current RM8.03 billion, via the disposal of assets and is seeking to do so at a higher price.

The newly-appointed chairman also said that after taking over the company seven weeks ago, he found one of the biggest challenges Felda is facing is the almost depleted cashflow position as a result of loans taken from banks.

“The weak cashflow problem is also due to low palm oil prices.

“The company will be submitting a white paper to the government to be tabled at the next parliamentary sitting.

“It will tackle various issues in Felda, including poor planning, governance and malpractices,” Megat Zaharuddin added.

Meanwhile, Felda has appointed Datuk Dr Othman Omar as its DG, effective Oct 1, 2018.

Othman, who was a former GM of Selangor State Development Corp (PKNS), replaces Datuk Ab Ghani Mohd Ali who is retiring after serving the agency for 37 years.

Othman has extensive experience not only in the corporate sector, but also in a government agency, having served PKNS before, Megat Zaharuddin said.

He said Felda’s board of directors felt that Othman has the skills and ability to lead the group to overcome current challenges and develop it towards its vision of becoming a progressive land scheme in the country.

Megat Zaharuddin described Othman’s choice as timely as Felda has gone through several rebranding exercises, entrepreneurial development, transformation and restructuring. — Bernama