Awantec, InNature, Paramount, Eco World International, Mi Technovation, MAA, KNM, Pharmaniaga, Jiankun, Nova MSC, Sarawak Cable

TheEdge Fri, May 10, 2024 11:58pm - 1 month View Original

KUALA LUMPUR (May 10): Here is a brief recap of some business news and corporate announcements that made the headlines on Friday:

Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd (Bursa Securities) has lifted AwanBiru Technology Bhd (KL:AWANTEC), formerly Prestariang Bhd, from its status as an affected listed issuer, after three years. Awantec said Bursa Securities has granted the company a waiver from being classified as an affected listed issuer, as it had complied with the criteria for the upliftment. The exchange regulator has also lifted the trading suspension of Awantec shares, which will take effect next Monday (May 13). — Bursa lifts Awantec from affected issuer status after three years

InNature Bhd (KL:INNATURE) is acquiring the operator of Burger & Lobster restaurants for RM21.25 million in a related-party deal as part of a diversification plan. InNature will pay RM14.6 million to buy Blu Restaurant Sdn Bhd with proceeds from its 2020 initial public offering. The remainder of the price will be paid with internal cash, it noted. “The proposed acquisition provides an avenue for the group to expand into the food-and-beverage business,” InNature said. — InNature to acquire Burger & Lobster operator for RM21.25m from major shareholders

Paramount Corp Bhd (KL:PARAMON) has bought a 21.54% stake in Eco World International Bhd (EWI)(KL:EWINT) for RM170.61 million in cash. Paramount’s wholly-owned subsidiary Flexsis Sdn Bhd bought 517 million EWI shares at 33 sen per share from GLL EWI (HK) Ltd — a unit of GuocoLand Ltd that is controlled by Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan — via a direct business transaction. The rationale for the acquisition is to accelerate its overseas expansion and diversification plan, said Paramount. The acquisition makes Flexsis the second largest shareholder in EWI, after Eco World Capital (International) Sdn Bhd with a 27% stake, while GLL’s stake in the company will be reduced to about 5.46%. — Paramount buys 21.5% stake in Eco World International from Quek Leng Chan for RM170.61m, cash

Mi Technovation Bhd (KL:MI) saw its net profit more than quadruple to RM26.79 million in the first quarter ended March 31, 2024 (1QFY2024), from RM6.4 million in the same period last year. This jump was driven by higher revenue, which climbed by 39.4% year-on-year to RM107.13 million on stronger demand from customers, as well as foreign exchange gains. About 57.2% of total revenue for the quarter was contributed by its semiconductor equipment business, while 42.8% came from its semiconductor material business. — Mi Technovation’s 1Q net profit jumps over fourfold on higher revenue, forex gains

MAA Group Bhd (KL:MAA) has bought an additional 4.98% stake in troubled Practice Note 17 (PN17) company KNM Group Bhd (KL:KNM) for RM33.24 million, at an average price of 16.5 sen per share. The shares were bought between February 8 and May 10, 2024. The acquisition raised MAA’s direct and indirect stake in KNM to 13.54%. The 4.98% stake was bought via a direct business transaction. MAA said the investment will provide an opportunity for MAA to participate in any future potential capital appreciation in the value of its investment in KNM. — MAA raises stake in KNM to 13.54%

Pharmaniaga Bhd (KL:PHARMA), whose weak financials have just been flagged by its independent auditor for a second consecutive year, assures shareholders that it is committed to financial recovery and has made “strong and steady progress” on this. This is backed by resilient fundamentals and clear strategies to exit its Practice Note 17 (PN17) status via the regularisation plan it had submitted to Bursa Malaysia in February this year, the group said. The statement came after PricewaterhouseCoopers PLT raised doubts about the group’s ability to continue as a going concern, as it flagged its continued losses in the financial year ended Dec 31, 2023 (FY2023), its current liabilities that exceeded its current assets and its capital deficiency. — Pharmaniaga says it is confident of financial recovery after auditors again flag going-concern issues

Jiankun International Bhd (KL:JIANKUN) has redesignated its president Datuk Saiful Nizam Mohd Yusoff as non-independent and non-executive chairman, effective Friday. Saiful Nizam's redesignation comes shortly after Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali's resignation as chairman of the loss-making property development and construction group on April 30. Mohamed Apandi, the former attorney general, had led Jiankun since December 2020. Saiful Nizam, son-in-law of deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, holds 2.5 million shares or a 0.51% stake in Jiankun. — Jiankun redesignates Zahid’s son-in-law Saiful Nizam as chairman

Two subsidiaries of software company Nova MSC Bhd (KL:NOVAMSC) have attracted the interest of another Singapore-based family office Mark Investment Group VCC, which is considering investing about RM41 million in the companies. Mark Investment is interested in investing S$5 million (RM17.5 million) into Nova MSC's 60%-owned Dex-Lab Pte Ltd, which is involved in so-called social robots. It also would like to invest US$5 million into Nova MSC's 42%-owned EyRIS Pte Ltd, which is involved in the development of artificial intelligence for automated image analysis for eye diseases. Mark Investment has signed term sheets with the two subsidiaries for the potential investments, which are subject to due diligence and negotiations. The term sheets are non-binding and independent of each other, Nova MSC said. — Singapore-based Mark Investment Group VCC mulling RM41m investments in Nova MSC units

Sarawak Cable Bhd (KL:SCABLE) has identified "a strong alternative party" who is interested in spearheading a resuscitation plan for the group, after its plan to regularise its financials with the help of UK-based Serendib Capital Ltd fell through. The loss-making cables maker further said that it had been unable to reach an agreement with Serendib Capital on their working relationship, given a delay in proposing and implementing any debt settlement with the company's creditors within the agreed-upon period under the memorandum of agreement (MOA) inked in December last year. It further said the termination of the MOA with Serendib would not impact the group's regularisation plan to exit its Practice Note 17 (PN17) status. — Sarawak Cable says it has 'strong' backup after losing Serendib Capital as white knight


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