KUALA LUMPUR Dec 29 Malaysia's Federal Land
Development Authority (Felda) has secured government financing
to fund its $505.4 million purchase of a minority stake in
Indonesian palm oil firm PT Eagle High Plantations Tbk
, state news agency Bernama reported.
In a controversial move, state-owned Felda said last week it
would buy a 37 percent stake in Eagle High, paying a 95 percent
premium its last closing share price at the time.
The deal has under mounting criticism this week, with
opposition lawmakers and industry analysts calling the deal
overpriced. Some critics have also said Felda would
have to raise money to fund the acquisition.
Bernama quoted Muzzammil Mohd Nor, Felda's deputy
director-general, as saying that government financing was
secured but there were no details on the amount of financing in
Muzzammil also denied that the deal was overpriced, saying
no other plantations of Eagle High's size were available for
sale at the valuation paid and the deal was strategically too
important to pass up.
"If we don't do this deal, we will just be on the sidelines,
forcing to watch our competitors grow by leaps and bounds in
this highly lucrative sector," he was quoted as saying in an
Felda did not immediately reply to a Reuters request for
(Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)