LTAT: Mission Boustead has been aborted no thanks to COVID-19 woes

LEMBAGA Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) or the Armed Forces Fund Board has decided against pursuing the privatisation exercise of Boustead Holdings Bhd in light of the prolonged challenging economic environment arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and the re-implementation of the movement control order (MCO 2.0).

According to the fund, alongside heightened risks and increased uncertainties to successfully complete the proposal, it has decided against proceeding with the proposal at this juncture.

“Meanwhile, as a controlling stakeholder of Boustead, LTAT is supportive of Boustead’s plan to actively pursue and successfully execute its turnaround plans and growth strategies,” the army fund pointed out in a statement.

“LTAT shall continue to review its options in line with LTAT’s objective to preserve and enhanced the value of the assets under its portfolio and to improve long term returns to its contributors.”

LTAT which owns a 59.4% stake in Boustead had mooted the idea of privatising Boustead in May last year in its quest to turnaround the ailing conglomerate.

Since then, he fund was given two extensions by the Securities Commission to come up with a solid proposal to buy out the minority shareholders in Boustead.

The second extension expired on Feb 2. Pending today’s announcemen, shares of Boustead were suspended from trading. The counter will resume trading tomorrow

In view of this development, Boustead said both parties has jointly-agreed for Boustead’s management to focus on its newly crafted Re-inventing Boustead strategy to rejuvenate the group.

This strategy will involve value creation within the group’s existing core businesses, creatively changing business models, rationalising a few non-strategic assets as well as venturing into the digital services and technology sector.

“The need to re-invent Boustead is needed more than ever,” commented Boustead’s group managing director Datuk Seri Mohammed Shazalli Ramly.

“Through enhanced creativity and continuous innovation of business models, anchored in the foundation of uncompromising governance and integrity, we commit to transform our brick-and-mortar businesses to become more robust, digitised and sustainable.”

Over the next few weeks, Shazalli who assumed the head honcho post on Dec 1 last year added Boustead will start unveiling its initiatives one-by-one to accelerate the re-invention of Boustead, and ultimately meet the expectations of its shareholders. – Feb 2, 2021

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