Saturday 13 Apr 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (July 14): PLS Plantations Bhd, whose activities include durian cultivation, is forming a joint venture (JV) that aims to become one of the largest banana planters in Malaysia.

In a filing to Bursa Malaysia, the group said the JV partner is Agrofresh Management Sdn Bhd, which is engaged in the export and import of tropical and subtropical fruits.

They will form PLS Agrofresh Sdn Bhd, in which PLS Plantations will hold a 60% stake and Agrofresh 40%.

PLS Agrofresh is set to pioneer the development of an initial 500-acre banana plantation, which is set to increase to 2,500 acres in phases over three years.

“This venture marks a significant step in the realisation of our ambitious growth plans," said PLS Plantations group chief executive officer (CEO) Lee Hun Kheng in a statement.

"Our collaboration with Agrofresh is poised to make a substantial contribution to the evolution of the banana plantation industry in Malaysia. PLS seeks to become one of the largest banana planters in Malaysia,” said Lee.

PLS Agrofresh’s executive director and CEO Datuk Tom Chow Chin Kiat said the JV company will build the first large hyper-advanced and modern banana plantation in Malaysia "with foresight in R&D, fertiliser production, tissue culture, product development, and international partnerships".

"We are not just growing bananas; we are growing Malaysia's presence on the global stage of the agro-food industry," he added.

PLS Plantations said PLS Agrofresh is assembling a team of experienced technical experts specialising in the development and operation of banana plantations with international standard from the Philippines.

The team will comprise seasoned industry experts equipped with the necessary skill sets in operating a large-scale commercial banana plantation, the group said.

PLS Plantations shares rose 8.5 sen or 9.83% to 95 sen on Friday (July 14), valuing the group at RM417.64 million.

Edited ByS Kanagaraju
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