Inari dismisses report of approach by Khazanah for 20% stake

PETALING JAYA (Oct 7, 2013): Inari Amertron Bhd has dismissed a news report that it was being approached by Khazanah Nasional Bhd for a 20% stake in the group.

"There's a lot of speculation in the market but I cannot comment on that (report) because I have not read the report myself," its vice-chairman Dr Tan Seng Chuan told a press conference after the Penang-based semiconductor wafer manufacturer's EGM here last Friday.

On Friday, Business Times quoted a report by UOB Kay Hian as saying that Inari Amertron was placing out a 20% stake to Khazanah in exchange for a stake in wafer fabrication company, SilTerra Malaysia Sdn Bhd which is 98% owned by the state investment arm.

On the same day, Bernama quoted a Khazanah spokesman as saying that the stockbroker's report was false and baseless.

Tan said while Inari Amertron and SilTerra Malaysia are in the same semiconductor industry, they occupy different market areas.

"The nature of our business is very technical. It's very hard to make a general statement on whether or not there will be a synergy between us," he added.

Inari Amertron, a 35%-owned subsidiary of Datuk Thong Kok Khee's Insas Bhd, is involved in back-end semiconductor packaging, while SilTerra Malaysia is a wafer fabrication facility.

Shares of Inari Amertron closed down 2 sen or 1.8% at RM1.09 on Friday, with 5.46 million shares traded.

Meanwhile, Tan said the ACE Market-listed group is "making good progress" on its proposed transfer of listing to the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia, which it aims to complete in the fourth quarter of this year.

"We are pretty much on track to get transferred," he added.

Inari Amertron had in July this year announced its proposed transfer as it aims to attract more institutional investors into the group and enhance its prestige and reputation.

"We have been approached by some local institutional investors and funds, but everyone is still waiting for us (to transfer to the Main Market)," said Tan.

According to Inari Amertron, it has registered an aggregate net profit of RM80.8 million for the past three financial years ended June 30, 2011 to 2013, which is more than double that of Bursa Malaysia's requirement of minimum uninterrupted profit record of RM20 million to be eligible for a listing on the Main Market.

As the shareholders have approved amendments to articles of association and employee share options scheme, Tan said the group is now one step closer towards an upgrade to the Main Market.

In June, Inari completed the acquisition of optoelectronic manufacturer Amertron Inc (Global) Ltd for RM102.87 million, making it now Inari Amertron.

The group now has a total of nine manufacturing plants in Penang, Johor, Kunshan (China) as well as Clark Field and Paranaque in the Philippines, which have an average factory utilisation rate of between 80% and 85%.

"The future plan of Inari Amertron will follow our past plan, that is, we will continue to grow organically and at the same time look for acquisition opportunities," said Tan.