Malaysia: No merger on cards for Sime Darby-UMW auto biz

A visitor is reflected in a logo of Toyota Motor Corp at the company's showroom in Tokyo February 4, 2015. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

Malaysia’s Sime Darby and UMW Holdings have denied any plans for a merger between the motor units of two companies.

Issuing a statement on Monday denying the merger report in a local daily, Sime Darby said, “It is untrue that a merger of the automotive businesses of the two companies is on the cards.”

Sime Darby, a plantation company with interests in property and motors too said it has announced its plans to create three independent listed companies on Bursa Malaysia and “this is our main focus currently”.

Sime Darby Motors, the company’s automotive arm is the second largest BMW dealer in the world and a major player in the automotive industry in the Asia Pacific region. On the other hand, UMW markets and distributes vehicles from Toyota and Lexus in Malaysia. It is also a large shareholder with 38 per cent in local automotive brand Perodua.

Meanwhile, UMW Holdings in another statement said “there are no such plans,” while commenting on the merger.

Further, adding that UMW had announced its plans to exit the oil & gas sector in January through distribution in specie of all its shares in UMW Oil & Gas Corporation Bhd to all entitled shareholders of UMW.

“This distribution exercise will be followed by a progressive exit of non-listed oil & gas assets held by UMWH. The Group is currently focusing on executing the announced initiatives as per the stated timeline,” it added.

Apart from automotive, UMW is also involved in equipment, manufacturing & engineering, and oil and gas.

Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) is a major shareholder in both companies. In fact, a possible merger would need a permission from PNB and also approval of partners by the firms.

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