Friday, January 08, 2021

Silterra sales: "Cina" colluding with "Cina", Khazanah colluding with Green Packet

Khazanah Nasional was supposed to have finalised a decision on the sale of Silterra in December 2020. All the cards are already on the table. They should decide based on what's available. 

However, nothing is forthcoming from the Board of Directors of Khazanah chaired by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin and include senior position members of cabinet. Why the indecision? What's the ulterior motive behind such unprofessional and unethical conduct?  

In a December 30th article, Emmanuel Samarathisa exposed in a subscription based news portal, The Malaysianist that the Board is under pressure to sell it to local but mentioned Green Packet's MACC investigation proves a hinderance. 

The latest talk reported by NST claimed that Khazanah giving more leeway to give Green Packet more time to firm up their financing. It means their so-called Bumi Fund is not for real, mere hype and not raised money to finance the Siliterra purchase. The decision should be to reject. 

Green Packet was brought in by Khazanah's Goh Ching Yin just about the time the sales to DNex was supposed to be inked after three years of collaboration to put together a comprehensive plan. Goalpost was conveniently changed and even possibly changing certain condition to enable the sales. Now a time extension. 

It turns out there is collusion between key personnel of Khazanah and Green Packet. What is going on, MACC? What happenned to investigation? KIV?

Sales woes

Emmanuel's article as taken from Sabahkini2, below:

Silterra’s suitor woes

Khazanah Nasional Bhd’s quest to divest its loss-making semiconductor wafer fabrication business may run into a snag as anti-graft officials are investigating a separate deal involving one of the bidders.

Hiving off Silterra Malaysia Sdn Bhd has been among Khazanah’s priorities this year, and after multiple bidding rounds in July and October, the number of hopefuls were whittled down to two overseas and two local companies.

The former consisted of Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group and Germany’s X-Fab Semiconductor Foundries AG while the latter comprised Dagang NeXchange Bhd (DNeX) and Green Packet Bhd.

But people familiar with the matter said the overseas bidders might have pulled out of the race, following the government’s insistence of putting Silterra in the hands of a Malaysian owner.

This came after intense pushback by local players who found out that Khazanah decided to entertain foreign investors, as the deadline for the sales process extended due to the movement control order (MCO), especially Foxconn, which submitted a significantly higher bid, entitling them to 100% ownership.

The grouse was that ownership guidelines weren’t made clear where a foreign company could aim for majority ownership of the foundry.

If Khazanah were allowed to divest to either Foxconn or X-Fab, the fund would have to request for the International Trade and Industry Ministry to amend Silterra’s shareholding requirement for its manufacturing licence, which requires at least 55% of its shares to be held by local investors. Bumiputera ownership of the company must at least consist 30%.

This leaves Bursa Malaysia-listed tech companies, Green Packet and DNeX, in pole position.

But, a source said, it might not be so easy for Green Packet as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is still investigating the tech company’s 2014 stake sale in then mobile business, Packet One Networks (M) Sdn Bhd (P1), to Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM).

That year TM went on to acquire 57% of P1 for RM350 million with a further RM210 million capital injection via newly issued redeemable bonds. TM now owns 72.9% in the mobile operator, which has undergone rounds of rebranding from P1 to WeBe to unifi.

The deal was done under then TM chief Shazalli Ramly and Green Packet founder Puan Chan Cheong, also known as C C Puan.

But the acquisition sunk TM’s profits with the telco group posting its first quarterly loss in a decade during the third quarter of 2018, citing impairment provisions of up to RM934 million, including for P1-related assets.

The inclusion of Green Packet, said a source, has certainly raised some questions over Khazanah’s ability to screen potential buyers for its assets.

Silterra is the brainchild of Dr Mahathir Mohamad during his first stint as prime minister (1981-2003), as part of his industrialisation ambitions. It was created in 1995 and completed in 2000, in a move to grow the country’s semiconductor industry, from merely being an assembler of chips.

Market observers said Silterra had a headstart but failed to take advantage of the global tech revolution that marked the early 2000s.

This in turn saw the foundry struggling financially for years and numerous changes in leadership, to the point of enlisting veteran American chip veteran Bruce Gray, who failed to it turn around.

But Silterra was never run efficiently, even under the leadership of then Khazanah managing director Azman Mokhtar, who famously said, “You either execute or get executed,” when unveiling his mission to overhaul the government-linked companies (GLCs) under the fund’s watch in 2005.

The foundry would go on to chalk up losses up to RM5.5 billion from 2008 to 2017, only second to Malaysia Airlines Bhd in Khazanah’s basket of losers.

The only time Silterra had some reprieve was in 2008 under then chief executive Kamarudin Mohamed Zin. He was under pressure as Khazanah threatened to cut the cord and it seemed to work.

By the second quarter of 2009, Silterra was no longer asking its parent company for funds, only for depreciation charges and financing costs to strike out such gains and push it back into the red.

Today, staff cost has become a bane, amounting to RM130 million a year. In the financial year ended Dec 31 last year, Silterra would go on to post a net loss of RM172 million.

External auditor KPMG PLT remarked, in Silterra’s 2019 annual report, the foundry was only a going concern based on Khazanah’s ability to “provide adequate financial support”, despite posting a deficit in shareholders’ funds of RM575 million and net current liabilities of RM736 million.

Adding to Silterra’s woes is the general lack of a tech eco-system in the country consisting of related business such as design houses and suppliers of materials and tools.

More importantly, as with any GLC, political interference had always scuttled any meaningful discussions in divesting Silterra, said a market observer.


Among the four bidders, Foxconn threw in the highest at RM516 million, followed by Green Packet’s RM235 million and DNeX’s RM136 million.

It is not known how much is X-FAB offering but the group has operations in Malaysia. Back in 2006, X-FAB had merged with 1st Silicon, the only other wafer fabrication business in the country set up by the Sarawak government.

Further, the local players have also offered to assume Silterra’s debt of RM210 million, and have promised to grow the business.

DNeX’s bid consisted of a 60:40 consortium with Beijing CGP Investment Co Ltd and entails spending about RM500 million, including further capital expenditure and purchase of new equipment.

CGP is an RM15 billion fund that specialises in integrated circuits (IC) development and is believed to be a proxy for the Chinese IC industry. It counts Semiconductor Manufacturing International Crop as among its investees.

Green Packet is promising to leverage on Silterra to develop a homegrown semiconductor hub in Kulim, Kedah, where the semiconductor foundry is based. Puan’s IBI Urban Tech Sdn Bhd signed an agreement with China-based Orient Excellent Asset Management Co Ltd to work on the hub.

Khazanah’s next move is worth watching. While Malaysia seems to have struggled in nurturing a vibrant wafer fabrication sector, it has a high entry barrier of an estimated RM1 billion, US and China have pledged US$50 billion (RM201 billion) and US$1.4 trillion respectively through 2025 to nurture their respective semiconductor industries.

The fund, in its desire to relinquish ownership of Silterra, can go about this a few ways such as requesting the local bidders to up their offer price, benchmarking against Foxconn’s offer, or start an entirely new process with proper bidding guidelines, including foreign participation, and whether overseas companies can either be a majority owner or even wholly own Silterra.

But if Khazanah is looking to cut its losses, then Silterra has to go to the suitor with the highest price. For that to materialise, politics has to be out of the equation.

Emmanuel seemed to ignore the MACC investigation as it means in the event Green Packet resell Silterra or flip it, it is the second time CC Puan is taking a free ride from Khazanah. He may have not taken into account the latest development.

Endless tweeking, postphone again 

In November, NST reported Khazanah was tweeking the tender terms to hold 30% and allow foreigners to buy. 

It is an open secret that Khazanah's Executive Director, Goh Ching Yin had a hand in constantly tweeking the sales terms from one destined for Dnex, delay to invite other bidders, specifically the questionable Green Packet and suspiciously may have a hand in tweeking the tender terms. 

It may not be off to assume he had a hand in the latest development to give more time to Green Packet to firm up on their financing. Since Green Packet have a higher offer cash offer, the intention is obviously bias and unprofessional to keep changing deadline to bargain better deals:

NST reported:

Dramatic twist to the SilTerra Malaysia Sdn Bhd sale saga?

By NST Business - January 4, 2021 @ 11:20am

KUALA LUMPUR: There is a dramatic twist to the SilTerra Malaysia Sdn Bhd sale saga.

Khazanah Nasional Bhd, sources said, had decided against selling its blue-chip wafer fabrication company outright to foreign investors.

Only local bidders with their strategic partner would be considered for the takeover of Kulim-based SilTerra, they added.

Khazanah's board, which includes the prime minister and finance minister, is due to meet in mid-January on possibly making the final decision on the winning bidder.

"The board could also decide to delay the decision on the winning bidder till mid-2021 to allow for more time for bidders to finalise funding," a source told the New Straits Times.

The NST previously reported that Khazanah had received four bids for SilTerra including from Taiwan's Foxconn and Germany's X-FAB Silicon Foundries before the earlier deadline for submission on July 31 last year.

The other two were Malaysian listed firms Dagang Nexchange Bhd (DNeX) and Green Packet Bhd.

Both were backed by different China-based private equity firms, but with DNeX and Green Packet maintaining majority stake in their respective consortiums.

It was also reported that Khazanah had extended the takeover tender for the world-class but loss-making semiconductor firm to October 9 last year from July 31 originally, as it made some changes to the terms and conditions of the tender.

The sources said Khazanah now had requested Green Packet and DNeX to submit their updated bids by December 28 last year.

Its main concerns were related to credibility of consortiums, proof of funding, certainty of quick closing of the deal, quality of business turnaround, impact of ecosystem development, introduction of specific technology and execution track record, they added.

It is learnt that DNeX did not want a further delay in Khazanah's decision-making as it had finalised funding and was ready to execute its turnaround plan for SilTerra.

The sources said such delay seemed imminent as DNeX and Green Packet were bidding with partners from China, Khazanah wanted proof that their respective partners had the approval from the Chinese government to take the money out to pay for the investment.

The proposal from DNeX and its strategic partner Beijing CGP Investment Co Ltd (Beijing CGP) was focused on planning and executing SilTerra's turnaround with a total investment that could reach nearly RM1 billion over the short to medium haul.

On top of a RM136 million cash payment for Khazanah, DNex and its partner would reportedly absorb SilTerra's RM210 million bank borrowings, and inject a total of RM500 million for its capital and operating expenditures.

Green Packet, in a 55:45 consortium with Dongfang Huijia Zhuhai Asset Management Co Ltd, had put in a bid comprising RM235 million cash payment and RM210 million debt absorption.

Khazanah began another sales process early last year using KPMG, after previous attempts at hiving off Silterra had failed.

The government investment arm has sunk more than RM2 billion into Kulim-based Silterra, which has posted accumulated losses of more than RM8 billion since its formation in 1995.

Silterra was created in 1995 and built by 2000 to nudge Malaysia higher up the semiconductor value chain from merely being an assembler of chips.

However, its business struggled from day one for a variety of reasons and saw numerous changes in chief executive officer.

Silterra reportedly posted a loss of RM172 million for its financial year ended December 31 2019.

The reason given is textbook justification, fill with cliche and not substantive. Its downright unethical. 

For his limited exposure on economic and corporate matters, Muhyiddin failed to realise this and probably lost in his endless "my prerogative" egoistic excuses.  

Two conflict of interest 

On further investigation, it is found that there lies a conflict of interest between Khazanah and Green Packet.

Green Packet appointed Kendall Court as manager for its Bumi Tech fund. Founder of Kendall Court, Madam Yeo Kar Peng was on Khazanah Board. 

An ole Khazanah website confirmed:

Kendall also bought shares in Green Packet in Sept 2019 and sold on June 2020.

It does not end there. There is a second concidence:

The “coincidence” is the presence of Dr Farid Mohamed Sani, Head of CIO office at Khazanah. 

He was the Chief Strategy Officer at TM when Green Packet sold P1 to TM, which transaction was later investigated by MACC.

Khazanah Board is supposed to decide on the Silterra acquisition by 20 January but this postphonement is an obvious conflict of interest. 

It leads to the strong suspicion that Goh Ching Yin may be a party in this "Cina" colluding with "Cina" escapade to "tipu Melayu" and sell Silterra to Green Packet. Happening right under Melayu first, Malaysian second PM. Yet Malay is stereotyped as corrupt. 


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