Photo Credit: Pemaju industries is involved in the car business
Two investors – Wong Thean Soon and Brahmal Vasudevan – are believed to have become substantial shareholders in the loss-making automobile distribution and property development group Permaju Industries Bhd.
“They could be buying through Credit Suisse (CS) Group AG which, on September 21, 2017 acquired 9.7 million shares in the open market raising their stake in the company to 5.17 percent,” said a source.
The Sabah-based Permaju through its automotive division is involved in the distribution of Volkswagen and Ford franchises. The group is also involved in property development activities.
Wong is the managing director and single largest shareholder of MyEG Services Bhd. Brahmal meanwhile is the founder and chief executive officer of private equity firm, Creador Sdn Bhd.
It was reported recently that Wong and Brahmal also emerged as new investors in broadband, networking and mobile health company Palette Multimedia Holdings Bhd.
In Palette’s 2017 annual report which was released recently, Wong appears as the fifth largest shareholder with 12.52 million shares or a 3.92 percent stake.
Meanwhile Brahmal is the second largest shareholder of the warrants, holding some 20 million shares or a 13.77 percent stake.
Brahmal is also believed to be holding the Palette mother share via CS.
Foreign funds and local investors have been slowly acquiring shares in companies which are under-valued on Bursa Malaysia.
Wong and Brahmal may be interested in Permaju because of the potential value the company is able to generate from its land development activities in Sabah.
Permaju, which has a market cap of about RM77 million owns 100 acres of land in Kota Kinabalu held via its property development arm, Hardie Development Sdn Bhd.
Hardie is developing the land into a township called Alam Puteri that could generate a GDV of over RM1 billion.
So far 10 acres have been developed in the township project, featuring office and residences.
Two years ago Hardie also inked a lease agreement with Mydin Mohamed Holdings Bhd to set up Mydin Hypermarket shopping mall in the township development on about 10 acres.
On September 26, the Edge Markets reported that Global financial services company Credit Suisse Group AG through its unit Credit Suisse Securities (Europe) Ltd has emerged as a substantial shareholder in Permaju Industries Bhd with a 5.17% stake.
In a filing to Bursa Malaysia, Permaju said Credit Suisse Securities had purchased the 9.68 million shares, representing a 5.17% stake in the company, on Sept 21.
The company is controlled by the Chai family, namely brothers Datuk Chai Kin Loong, Tan Sri Chai Kin Kong and Chai Kim Chong, who control some 18% of the company.