Aurora Mulia becomes largest shareholder in Media Prima

by ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN/ pic by TMR File

PRIVATE company Aurora Mulia Sdn Bhd has emerged as the largest shareholder in Media Prima Bhd following its purchase of an additional 55 million shares last Thursday, which brings its total shareholding to 16.05%.

The purchase — which was made via a direct business transaction on July 11 — has made Aurora Mulia the single largest shareholder in the media group, ahead of Morgan Stanley with a 12.48% stake and the Employees Provident Fund Board which has 11.58%.

The stake rise comes as Aurora Mulia emerged as a substantial shareholder in Media Prima, after buying an 11.09% stake from Umno-linked Gabungan Kesturi Sdn Bhd for RM73.81 million or 60 sen a share on July 2.

The new block of shares was also transacted at 60 sen per share and held by CIMSEC Nominees (Tempatan) Sdn Bhd, an exchange filing

by Media Prima noted last Friday. Media Prima’s share price closed unchanged at 48 sen last Friday. Over the past 12 months, its stock has been trading between 32.5 sen and 60 sen. Year-to-date, it has risen 41%.

One of Aurora Mulia’s board members is Syed Danial Syed Mokhtar Shah. He is the son of businessman Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary.

Syed Mokhtar already has a 14.76% stake in Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd and has an interest in TMR Media Sdn Bhd, the publisher of The Malaysian Reserve.

Speculation was rife that the next major block of shares in Media Prima being sought is Umno’s remaining 7.96% stake in Media Prima, held under Altima Inc. News reports had stated that discussions were in the final stages.

According to a Bernama report, DRB-Hicom Bhd denied that the group has acquired an 11% stake in Media Prima and that it might acquire another 8% that belongs to Umno.

A successful stake deal on the Altima block would allow Aurora Mulia to emerge as the largest shareholder of Media Prima with a 24% share.

Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, who served as Umno acting president prior to Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s return to the post, was reported as saying in March that the party is selling its stake in Media Prima.

He said the party had to dispose of the shares due to financial constraints after it lost in the last general election.

For the first three months of this year, Media Prima posted a net loss of RM40.41 million.