9 October 2014
Clifford Chance advises Sime Darby on US$1.74 billion cash offer for New Britain Palm Oil Limited
Clifford Chance has advised Sime Darby Plantation Sdn Bhd (Sime Darby Plantation), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sime Darby Berhad, on its proposed acquisition of New Britain Palm Oil Limited (NBPOL). The cash offer of £7.15 per share to acquire all the voting shares in NBPOL valuing the company at £1.07 billion (approx. US$1.74 billion), is subject to satisfaction of a number of conditions including EU merger clearance and a minimum acceptance level which would provide Sime Darby Plantation with at least 51% of NBPOL's voting shares.
NBPOL, a company located in Papua New Guinea (PNG ) with a primary listing of its shares on the Port Moresby Stock Exchange and a secondary listing on the London Stock Exchange, is one of the world's leading producers of sustainable palm oil. It has a vertically integrated operation in PNG and the Solomon Islands and is also the largest domestic sugar and beef producer in PNG.
Singapore Corporate partner Lee Taylor, who led on this transaction said, "I'm delighted to be working with Sime Darby on this strategic transaction. Agri-business, particularly on a sustainable level, is a key area of growth, and we've advised clients on a number of high-profile acquisitions over the past 12 months including Cofco's acquisition of Nidera BV and Noble's agri-business."
Lee was assisted on this transaction by associate Calum McKeen in Singapore. Additional support was provided by Corporate partner Lee Coney and Antitrust partner Jenine Hulsmann in London.
Clifford Chance advised on the international aspects of this transaction with Christopher & Lee Ong acting as Malaysian legal counsel and Leahy Lewin Lowing Sullivan Lawyers acting as PNG legal counsel.
Sime Darby Plantation is the plantation and agri-business arm of Sime Darby Group. It is one of the world's largest plantation companies producing about 5% of the crude palm oil output globally.