Sunday 10 Dec 2023
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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 6): Boustead Holdings Bhd managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Seri Amrin Awaluddin is said to be leaving the diversified conglomerate to take the helm at Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT).

The CEO position at the armed forces pension fund has been vacant since Sept 30 after the resignation of Nik Amlizan Mohamed. She had held the position since October 2018. She recently filled a similar role at Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Diperbadankan).

Earlier today, Boustead announced that Amrin will be stepping down on Nov 15 after 18 months in the position. No reason was given for his unexpected departure except that it was to allow him to pursue other opportunities.

According to sources, Amrin has been tipped to become the CEO of LTAT. Last month, The Star reported that Amrin and former Telekom Malaysia Bhd MD and CEO Datuk Seri Mohammed Shazalli Ramly were the shortlisted candidates to replace Nik Amlizan.

Sources told, however, that Mohammed Shazalli will likely replace Amrin as CEO of Boustead following the latter's departure.

Amrin, who joined Boustead as the MD in May last year, was previously the group MD of Media Prima Bhd and Sime Darby Property Bhd.

However, the changing of guards raises questions on whether LTAT will proceed with the privatisation of its 59.4%-owned subsidiary Boustead. In May, LTAT announced its intention to privatise Boustead as part of its portfolio rebalancing, at an indicative offer price of 80 sen per share, which values Boustead at RM1.62 billion. On Aug 27, Bank Negara Malaysia gave its nod to LTAT to commence negotiations with Boustead on the privatisation proposal.

Nevertheless, LTAT has yet to make a firm offer to buy the remaining Boustead shares even as reports have emerged of parties keen on buying a stake in the diversified conglomerate. It has until Feb 2 next year to decide on the matter.

Boustead has more than 90 subsidiaries, associate companies and joint ventures. Its operations focus on five key areas, namely plantation; heavy industries; property and industrial; trading, finance and investment; and pharmaceuticals.

Boustead has three listed entities under the group, namely Boustead Heavy Industries Corp Bhd (65%), Boustead Plantations Bhd (57.42%), and Pharmaniaga Bhd (55.93%). It also holds a 20.76% stake in Affin Bank Bhd.

However, Boustead has not made a profit since the financial year ended Dec 31, 2018 (FY18). The group's net loss broadened 139% year-on-year to RM1.28 billion in FY19. In the first half of FY20, it posted a net loss of RM146.7 million compared with a net profit of RM1.9 million in the previous corresponding period, dragged down by its trading, finance and investment division.

In July, Boustead unveiled its plan to transform the group into a sustainable and high-performance organisation by 2023.

Boustead shares closed down 0.5 sen or 0.82% at 60.5 sen today, bringing a market capitalisation of RM1.23 billion.

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Edited ByS Kanagaraju
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