(May 18): Ekuiti Nasional Bhd, Malaysia’s state-owned private equity firm, is exploring selling shipping company Orkim Sdn Bhd and is seeking as much RM1.5 billion, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
Ekuinas, as the buyout firm is known, is working with an adviser on the potential deal, the people said. Kuala Lumpur-based Orkim has drawn interest from companies in the industry and financial sponsors, the people said, asking not to be identified as the process is private.
Deliberations are ongoing and Ekuinas could decide not to proceed with a sale, the people said. Representatives from Ekuinas and Orkim declined to comment.
Orkim started as a shipbroker in 2004 and became a shipowner five years later after taking delivery of its first vessel, according to its website. It is the only company in Malaysia to secure long-term contracts from state-owned oil firm Petroliam Nasional Bhd and Shell Plc for so-called Clean Petroleum Products’ domestic sea transportation, the website shows. Orkim has a fleet of 18 vessels with an average age of 10 years and total tonnage of 153,637 deadweight tonnes.
Ekuinas was set up in 2009 to promote equitable and sustainable wealth creation and economic participation for indigenous Malays, according to its website. The state-owned private equity firm bought 95.5% of Orkim in 2014.