KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Qatar Holding LLC, a unit of the Gulf nation's sovereign wealth fund, has agreed to take part in the planned $3 billion listing of Malaysia's Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd as a cornerstone investor, a source with direct knowledge of the deal told Reuters.
It would be the first time a Middle Eastern sovereign fund has acted as a cornerstone in a Malaysian initial public offering (IPO). The world's No.3 palm plantation operator is preparing for its market debut at the end of June, one of the world's largest after Facebook's (FB.O) $16 billion listing in mid-May.
"They are taking quite a substantial stake," the source said, declining to elaborate further as the talks are confidential.
The entry of Qatar Holding marks the tenth cornerstone committed for Felda Global's IPO. Other cornerstones include Louis Dreyfus, Fidelity Investments, Hong Kong's Value Partners (0806.HK) and AIA Group (1299.HK).
The source added that Felda Global is expected to launch its IPO prospectus on May 31. Felda Global officials could not be reached for comment.
The IPO consists of 2.19 billion shares, including a public issue of 980 million shares and an offer for sale of 1.21 billion shares, according to Felda Global's draft prospectus filed on April 27.
Southeast Asia has seen a burst of IPOs since the start of the year, despite the protracted euro zone debt crisis and the debacle over Facebook's recent market debut.
CIMB (CIMB.KL) and Maybank (MBBM.KL), as well as Morgan Stanley (MS.N), are the joint global coordinators for Felda Global's listing, while JPMorgan (JPM.N) and Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) are joint book runners.
Additional Reporting By Anuradha Raghu; editing by Stuart Grudgings and Richard Pullin