India slashed the basic import tax on crude palm oil (CPO) from 27.5 percent to 15 percent but rises the levy to 17.5 percent to support the domestic industry, said finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, on Monday (02/02) - Photo: Special

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – The British’ firm, M.P. Evans Group PLC (MPE) announced an agreement to dispose of 70 hectares of land owned by its unit, Bertam Consolidated Rubber Ltd., for US$23.5 million to Malaysian developer’ Bertam Properties Sdn Bhd. The proceeds will support investment in its Indonesian palm oil projects, said the company today (07/20).

The group owned 40 percent shares of the Malaysian property-developer. The land is the remaining part of the Group’ Bertam Estate which was not sold into Bertam Properties at the formation of the joint venture in 1992.

The sale consideration will be paid in cash over a three-year period, with a 10 percent deposit on signing the agreement lodged with the Group‘ solicitor. Then, 50 percent of the consideration to be paid after satisfaction of the sale conditions including approval by the Malaysian Estate Land Board, expected by March 2021, and a further 10 percent in January 2022 and the balance in July 2023.

This disposal is in line with MPE’ strategy to realise its Malaysian assets for investment in new palm oil projects. Following the completion of the sale, the Group’ sole remaining Malaysian asset will be its 40 percent shareholding in Bertam Properties, which will incorporate the land acquired from the company.

Commenting on the disposal, chairman of MPE, Peter Hadsley-Chaplin said, “The sale proceeds will underpin the Group’ investment in expansion of both its hectarage and production facilities as a producer of sustainable Indonesian palm oil.”

Since 2005, MPE have consistently planted on average 2,200 hectares every year in Sumatera. Through its purchase of PT Bumi Mas in December 2017, the company also expanded the land.

“We expect this planting and acquisition together to mean the Group’ and scheme smallholders crop will continue to grow reaching more than 1 million tones of fresh fruit bunches in 2021, and continue growing into the late 2020s,” said the company.

Its plantations are spread across five Indonesian provinces such as North Sumatra, South Sumatra, Aceh, Bangka – Belitung and East Kalimantan. The oldest farms are in North Sumatra and Aceh with new projects developed in East Kalimantan, Bangka – Belitung and South Sumatra since 2005. All the plantations are held on long-term renewable leases.

“The young age of its palms means the Group can anticipate very strongly increasing crops well into the 2020’ as its palms mature. The Group’s average annual crop growth in the last decade has been 17 percent,” the company stated.

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