Malaysia's KL Kepong acquires Liberian palm oil operations


KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Malaysia's third-largestlisted plantation company, Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd,said it had agreed to a $21.3 million cash acquisition to gain afoothold in the palm oil sector in Liberia.

KL Kepong has agreed to buy a 20.1 percent stake inLondon-listed Equatorial Palm Oil PLC and a 50 percentstake in Liberian Palm Developments Ltd, both from Singaporeanpalm oil producer and exporter Biopalm Energy Limited, it saidin a stock exchange filing on Thursday.

Listed palm oil firms in Malaysia and Singapore have turnedincreasingly to Africa to set up operations as land in topproducer Indonesia is becoming scarce after years of rapiddevelopment.

"The proposed acquisition is in line with KL Kepong'sstrategy to expand its plantation landbank outside Malaysia andIndonesia for geographical diversification into the West Africanregion, where there is a net deficit of edible oils," thecompany said.

The remaining 50 percent in Liberian Palm Developments isowned by Equatorial Palm Oil.

KL Kepong will also take on Liberian Palm Developments'$608,000 loan from Biopalm Energy.

Liberian Palm Developments holds two 50-year concessions inLiberia covering 25,547 hectares.

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