KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 8): Datuk Sri Nazir Razak has been appointed as the non-executive independent chairman of PLS Plantations Bhd with effect from Feb 10.
Nazir will assume the post from the group’s current chairman, Tan Sri Datuk Lim Kang Hoo, who will be redesignated as executive vice chairman of PLS.
Lim is also the group executive chairman of Ekovest, which owns a 73.08% stake in PLS.
Joining Nazir on the board is another former CIMB senior ex-banker, Tan Hong Kheng, who will join as an independent non-executive director on the same date.
Nazir joins the board after the durian planter placed out 19 million new shares to him in a private placement exercise last month. The new shares were issued at 95 sen each.
PLS said the private placement, which includes share placements to other independent third-party investors, was to raise funds to partially repay the group’s bank borrowings which stood at approximately RM121.48 million as at Dec 31, 2020.
Nazir is currently the chairman and founding partner of Ikhlas Capital Singapore Pte Ltd, an ASEAN private equity firm based in Singapore.
He retired as chairman of CIMB Group Holdings Bhd in October 2018 after a 29-year career with the ASEAN banking group.
“I look forward to providing my guidance and insights at a time when PLS is moving to expand its durian plantation and downstream businesses, and diversify into other agri-food areas.
“In order to strengthen my alignment with the future of PLS, in addition to taking up a recent share placement by the company, I have also acquired an option to purchase existing warrants in PLS that, when exercised, will allow me to increase my shareholding in PLS from 4.75% currently to 9.9% based on its current share capital,” said Nazir.
Meanwhile, PLS announced the resignation of Hisham Mahmood as senior independent non-executive director on Janu 29 and the earlier resignation of Datuk Lim Kang Poh as non-independent non-executive director on Jan 21.
Shares of PLS dropped two sen to RM1.10, for a market capitalisation of RM431.42 million.