MGO for Bright Packaging unlikely

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 25, 2014): Bright Packaging Industry Bhd (BrightPack), which was embroiled in a high profile boardroom dispute that led to the replacement of four directors in a hostile takeover last year, said it has no plans to take the company private.

The company's largest shareholder is Asia Media Group Bhd founder and CEO Datuk Ricky Wong Shee Kai, who emerged as a substantial shareholder last year, currently holds a 32.81% stake in BrightPack, close to the 33% threshold of ownership of companies required to trigger a mandatory general offer (MGO).

On Feb 10 2014, Wong acquired the entire shareholding of company director Datuk Seri Syed Ali Alhabshee in a direct business transaction.

Syed Ali Alhabshee, chairman of Asia Media, led dissident shareholders to victory by a landslide margin with 59.93% voting in favor to oust the incumbent board at a extraordinary meeting called early last year.

Asked if Wong intends to launch a general offer or to privatise the company, its executive chairman Nik Mustapha Muhamad said, "No, I don't think so".

Both Wong and Syed Ali was absent at the company's annual general meeting held here yesterday.

On another note, Nik Mustapha was mum when asked if BrightPack plans to hire a new CEO, a position that has been vacant for almost a year now.

"I am not too sure about that, it depends on the majority shareholders. But the executive director (Ang Lay Chieng) is here, our general manager Vincent (Yap Kok Eng) is here, they are very experienced (personnel)," he said.

"Nothing has changed, except for some board members. The management doesn't change, we retained all the experts. So why should the shareholder worry?" he replied.

The company's previous managing director, Wong See Yaw, was removed at the 2013 EGM along with executive director Yap Kok Eng and independent non-executive directors Wong Siew Yoong and Yeap Cheng Chuan.

At the AGM yesterday, all resolutions was passed except for resolution 7, as BrightPack's shareholders refused to authorise the allowances amounting to RM290,800 to the past directors who retired or were removed on Feb 21, 2013.
Resolution 8, on the payment of directors' fees and allowances of RM138,742 for the current board members, was however approved.

"Only one resolution was not passed. I'm not sure why, but the (current) shareholders did not approve (the payment) for the previous shareholders. I'm not going to touch that," said Nik Mustapha, adding that the atmosphere in the meeting is "very good".

Commenting on its business outlook, Nik Mustapha expects 2014 to be a very good year for BrightPack, as the group is heading to a better direction and diversifying away from tobacco packaging.

"2014 is going to be a better year than the previous year as our profit has almost doubled. We are heading to a better year because we are able to diversify our market," he said.

Since the new management team was put in place, BrightPack, which traditionally relied on tobacco packaging, has expanded into other sectors such as liquor and confectionary packaging.

The group has also made a RM47.61 million cash call through a rights issue to fund two new production lines.

For the financial year ended Aug 31, 2013 (FY13), BrightPack's net profit jumped by 86% to RM7.03 million from RM3.78 million a year ago, despite revenue falling by 7% to RM52.22 million from RM56.07 million.

Shares of BrightPack closed 1.5 sen or 2.22% higher at 67.5 sen yesterday.