Friday 24 May 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 27): The emergence of businessman and Umno politician Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani — through JAG Capital Holdings Sdn Bhd — as a major shareholder of MyNews Holdings Bhd a few months ago has been followed by significant boardroom changes at the group, which operates chains of convenience stores.

However, when contacted, a source close to the company said changes in the boardroom were “not related” to the emergence of Johari as a new shareholder.

The company disclosed the resignation of its executive chairman, Ding Lien Bing, effective Sept 30, according to its filing on Tuesday.

The filing explains that Ding has achieved his objectives and is resigning due to time constraints from other personal commitments. However, he will continue to serve as an adviser to MyNews' management.

The filing further states, "Ding has successfully assisted the management in streamlining the business for post-pandemic recovery." Following Ding's resignation, group CEO Dang Tai Luk has been appointed as the new chairman.

Dang Tai Luk and Tai Wen are brothers, and they, along with another brother, Tai Hock, who serves as an executive director of MyNews, are shareholders of D&D Consolidated Sdn Bhd, the biggest shareholder in MyNews.

As of August 3, D&D Consolidated holds 394.22 million shares, corresponding to a direct interest of 52.53%.

The boardroom changes came months after Johari, through JAG Capital, emerged as a significant shareholder in the company. 

According to the filing with Bursa Malaysia on July 14, JAG acquired 68.2 million shares, equivalent to 9.09% of the company, via a share placement on July 12. Additionally, seven million shares were purchased through an off-market deal shortly after. 

Johari, who is known for his involvement with KFC Holdings (M) Bhd and QSR Brands Bhd, previously held stakes in these companies, which he sold in 2005. Currently, he holds a stake of 32.96% in KUB Malaysia Bhd and CI Holdings through JAG Capital. 

MyNews, which operates more than half of its 615 convenience store outlets in the Klang Valley, has continued to underperform post-pandemic, amid a competitive operating environment and operational challenges in growing its Korean convenience store chain CU.

It remained in the red throughout 9MFY2023, with a cumulative net loss of RM11.65 million from RM19.54 million, despite revenue rising 20% to RM544.08 million, from RM450.73 million.

The group aims to open another 70 to 100 stores in FY2024, according to reports. According to the latest report, its network comprises 463 MyNews stores, 133 CU stores and 19 WHSmith outlets.

At the time of writing, MyNews shares were down 1.5 sen or 2.7% at 53.5 sen, translating into a market capitalisation of some RM402 million.

Edited ByLam Jian Wyn
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