KUALA LUMPUR: Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT), the controlling shareholder of Boustead Holdings Bhd, has dropped its plan to delist the company, citing Covid-19 challenges. "In light of the prolonged challenging economic environment arising from the Covid-19 outbreak and the reimplementation of the movement control order, alongside heighten risks and increased uncertainties to successfully complete the proposal, LTAT has decided not to proceed with the proposal at this juncture," LTAT said in a statement today. LTAT, which owns a 59.4% stake in Boustead, had in May last year said it is considering to privatise the company. Since then, he fund was given two extensions by the Securities Commission to come up with a solid proposal to buy out the minority shareholders in Boustead. The second extension expired on Feb 2. "As a controlling shareholder of Boustead, LTAT is supportive of Boustead's plan to actively pursue and successfully execute its turnaround plans and growth strategies," the statement said. Boustead, on Dec 1 last year, appointed former Telekom Malaysia Bhd boss Datuk Seri Mohammed Shazalli Ramly as its group managing director (MD) after the post was vacated by Datuk Seri Amrin Awaluddin. "LTAT shall continue to review its options in line with LTAT's objective to preserve and enhanced the value of the assets under its portfolio and to improve long term returns to its contributors," it said. Shares in Boustead were suspended from trading today to make way for the announcement. The stock will resume trade tomorrow. “The need to reinvent Boustead is needed more than ever. Through enhanced creativity and continuous innovation of business models, anchored in the foundation of uncompromising governance and integrity, we commit to transform our brick-and- mortar businesses to become more robust, digitised and sustainable," Shazalli said in a separate statement today. "Over the next few weeks, we will start unveiling our initiatives one-by-one to accelerate the reinvention of Boustead, and ultimately meet the expectations of our shareholders,” he added. Meanwhile, LTAT's chairman Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said it was a "mutual decision" by the two parties to cancel the takeover plan. "We welcome this decision as the Management of Boustead will now have unwavering focus to capitalise on emerging opportunities and accelerate value creation. We are clear on the path we need to take to improve our business prospects and maximise the returns to our main stakeholders – the military contributors of LTAT,” he said.
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