Some one e-mailed me the below:
I have been curious to find out the reason for the renaming of Synergy Drive to Sime Darby after the merger. By renaming the merged entities, it seemed more like a takeover.
The followings may offer some reasons which weren’t published in the mainstream papers.
1. Was it really a merger or was it a reversed takeover of Golden Hope and Kumpulan Guthrie by Sime Darby? We were told that this was a merger of equals. It’s now obvious that it was called a merger “to enable PNB to vote at the EGM. If it was called a takeover, it would be deemed to be a related party transaction and PNB would have to abstain from voting;
2. A takeover was evident when the new merged entity is called Sime Darby (SD) Berhad. Synergy Drive (SD) was it’s temporary name during the “takeover” exercise;
3. Did the promise to create the world’s largest listed oil palm plantation company really happen? Can the “new” Sime Darby be called a plantation company when only 47 per cent of revenue is contributed by plantation activities?;
4. Have the stakeholders, in particular the PNB, been “taken for a ride” with the promise to establish the world’s largest listed oil palm plantation but ended up still with a diversified company?;
5. Will another clever and well-connected “orang tengah” (middleman) copy the hugely profitable CIMB’s money making scheme to propose another round of reorganization of Sime Darby so that more commissions and quick capital gains could be made?;
6. Who would be the lucky buyers of Sime Darby’s non-plantation assets should a further break-up of this PNB-controlled company be mandated by the power-that-be?;
7. The initial market reaction to the takeover has been positive. When listed on Nov. 30, Sime Darby shares rose 23.6 per cent or RM2.10 to RM11. But will the long-term assessment change now that the promise to create a truly gigantic plantation company has not materialized?;
8. Will other PNB assets be acquired by other “orang tengah” — middlemen– to force another mega merger or takeover on the pretext of business rationalization and economies of scale when the real reason is fee income and quick capital gains?;
9. It is incumbent upon the PNB, in particular its chairman Tan Sri Ahmad Sarji, to guarantee that PNB and its millions of unit trust investors are not taken for a ride;
10. For its shrewd “orang tengah” role, Synergy Drive (CIMB) is believed to have turned its modest invest in the venture (or adventure) into fee income and shares worth hundreds of millions of Ringgit. Not bad for a year’s work;
11. Who is the mystery “non-Bumiputera” market maker who is said to have been responsible for successfully selling this merger idea to the Umno-led government?;
12. Will more Bumiputera assets held in custody by PNB and other Bumiputera trust agencies be “surreptitiously tranferred” to government-linked companies (GLCs)?;
13. In recent years, Bumiputera objectives of trust agencies and companies have given way to profits and market capitalization at most GLCs;
14. What will happen to the staff on the enlarged Sime Darby in the long run? When the sale of business agreement was signed, everyone was promised at least one year of guaranteed employment. When job offers were made, they were offered one year to three years “contracts”; and
What about morale? There have been allegations that those putting together the takeover “have no respect for seniority ” and that the staff of the “dead” Holden Hope and Kumpulan Guthrie alienated.