Ekovest aims to transform into larger listed conglomerate

by BERNAMA / pic credit: ekovest.com.my

EKOVEST Bhd aims to transform the group into a larger listed conglomerate with a larger portfolio of diversified businesses as a part of its strategy, with an increase in shareholding, approximately 57.38 per cent of total issued shares in PLS Plantations Bhd (PLS) upon its completion.

Executive chairman Tan Sri Lim Kang Hoo said Ekovest is obliged to extend an unconditional mandatory general offer to acquire all the remaining PLS shares and warrants not held by Ekovest accordingly.

“Our presence in PLS has enabled us to venture into the management and operation of oil palm and forest plantations, as well as in durian plantation, production, distribution and related businesses.

“This is in line with the long-term strategy of expanding and diversifying into other businesses to reduce dependency and reliance on our existing businesses in construction, property development and toll operations,” he said in the Ekovest Annual Report 2020 released today.

Lim said it is timely for the company to increase its stake in PLS, thus making it a subsidiary of Ekovest and consolidate the future earnings of PLS Group.

“Having statutory control in PLS will also allow us to assert significant influence over the strategic directions and to grow the businesses under the group,” he said,

With the COVID-19 pandemic causing uncertainties, Lim said Ekovest’s strategic focus has put the company in a strong position to benefit from longer-term growth.

“Our hybrid business model creates long-term shareholders’ value by harnessing the benefits of our complementary businesses, namely construction, property development and highway concession,” he said.

On its FY2020 performance, he said Ekovest registered a revenue of RM1.268 billion, a decrease of 5.02 per cent compared to RM1.335 billion in the previous financial year ended June 30, 2019 (FY2019).

The decrease, he said was due to lower construction work done recognised for DUKE Phase 3 and the River of Life projects as a result of the Movement Control Order imposed on March 18, 2020.

“We are committed to improving the construction industry and understand wider impact that can make in supporting human activity through the delivery of superior quality in our buildings, roads, public spaces, infrastructure and other construction areas,” he said.

Besides that, he said Ekovest is also in the midst of deliberating the exclusive offer received to participate as a strategic investor in Bandar Malaysia development, through the proposed acquisition of 40 per cent of the equity interest held by Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd (IWH) in IWH CREC Sdn Bhd.

On projects in the Asia-Pacific region, Lim said it entered into a strategic collaboration with China Railway Dongfang Group to establish a broad-based multi-angle and non-exclusive collaboration and strategic cooperation arrangement in relation to construction, development, infrastructure, airport and seaport and other development activities in Malaysia and the Asia-Pacific region.

“This collaboration opens up opportunity for Ekovest to jointly explore new ventures and projects which requires unique expertise in local market, as well as in the Asia-Pacific region,” he added.