Sime Darby offers £1b for palm oil group

Malaysian palm oil plantation company makes offer for London-listed New Britain Palm Oil with a nod from Papua New Guinea's prime minister.

Malaysian conglomerate Sime Darby on Thursday made a 1 billion $1.7 billion offer for London-listed New Britain Palm Oil, which owns huge swathes of plantation land in Papua New Guinea, and has secured approval from the country's prime minister.

Regulatory hurdles are increasingly a key challenge to closing deals, as was the case for New Britain's largest shareholder, Malaysian investment firm Kulim.

Kulim, which holds a 49% stake in New Britain Palm Oil, had last year made a partial offer to acquire an additional 20% stake in New Britain Palm Oil. However, this offer was thwarted when Papua New Guinea’s Minister for Trade, Commerce and Industry approved an amendment to the takeover code,...

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