KUALA LUMPUR: Conglomerate Sime Darby Bhd has received bondholders’ approval to restructure its US$800 million sukuk, a milestone in the group’s proposed debt reorganisation, which forms part of its plan to create three independent listed companies.

US$400 million of the sukuk mature in 2018 and an equal amount in 2023.

Sukuk holders approved the company’s plan to buy back the papers or replace the obligor or borrower, to Sime Darby Plantation from Sime currently.

“This is an important step for the group in our proposed reorganisation exercise to unlock value for shareholders,” Sime president and group chief executive Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh said in a statement on Tuesday.

“We must ensure that each listed company has the optimal capital structure which will allow it to pursue growth with focus and agility,” he said.

The broader reorganisation of the group involved the proposed listing of Sime Darby Plantation and Sime Darby Property through share distributions.

Sime would remain listed, owning the automotive, industrial equipment and logistics businesses.

On April 18, 2017, Sime launched a debt restructuring exercise to restructure its US dollar-denominated sukuk.

Under the exercise, sukuk holders could cash in on their investment in the sukuk or agree to change certain terms and conditions and replace Sime with Sime Darby Plantation as the new borrower or obligor.

Sime achieved a final tender and consent participation of 91%, across both series, of the sukuk.

In addition, investors holding almost a quarter of the 2023 sukuk chose to remain invested in Sime Darby Plantation.

HSBC Bank is the sole structuring and dealer manager for the exercise. – Bernama

 Originally published on www.thestar.com.my

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