KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 10): Berjaya Corp Bhd says it is in the midst of negotiations for the proposed acquisition of a controlling stake in MCIS Insurance Bhd (MCIS Life)
It announced this in a brief bourse filing on Tuesday (Jan 10) night, confirming a report by The Edge Malaysia over the weekend that the group was in talks with Sanlam Ltd to purchase the South Africa-based company’s 51% stake in MCIS Life.
On Monday, BCorp told Bursa Malaysia that it was "in the midst of negotiation with a potential seller of a licensed entity, subject to approval of Bank Negara Malaysia”.
The Edge Malaysia, citing sources, had reported that BCorp had been in negotiations with Sanlam since last year to buy its entire 51% stake in MCIS Life.
Koperasi MCIS Bhd holds another 44.39% equity interest in MCIS Life, while the remaining shares are held by individuals, according to MCIS Life’s filings with CTOS.
BCorp first announced its intention to pursue the acquisition of a licensed financial entity last month when the group also said that its founder and major shareholder Tan Sri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun intended to pare his shareholding in the group to not more than 19.6% by end-January 2023 to facilitate the acquisition.
According to Section 92 of the FSA, individuals shall hold no more than a 10% stake in a financial institution.
The financial services business is nothing new to BCorp as the group is currently involved in the provision of insurance via its 30% stake in Berjaya Sompo Insurance Bhd. The remaining 70% stake is held by Sompo Holdings (Asia) Pte Ltd. BCorp also owns a stockbroking arm, Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd.
On Jan 6, Tan sold 40 million shares or a 0.7% stake in BCorp to his son-in-law SM Faliq SM Nasimuddin for RM10 million, or 25 sen per share. Subsequent to the divestment, Tan is left with a 25.33% stake in BCorp.
SM Faliq, who is deputy group executive chairman of Naza Group, is married to Tan’s daughter Chryseis Tan Sheik Ling.
Filings on the same day showed that Chryseis Tan, who is also BCorp’s non-executive director, acquired the shares in two tranches (34.52 million shares and 5.48 million shares) through her spouse.
Shares in BCorp ended two sen or 6.06% higher at 35 sen on Tuesday, giving the group a market capitalisation of RM2.09 billion.