Firm linked to Syed Mokhtar buys into China parts maker

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 31 — Puncak Semangat Sdn Bhd, believed to be linked to tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary, is said to have bought shares in China Automobile Parts Holdings Ltd, resulting in the company owning more than 10 per cent stake in the automotive chassis components manufacturer.

“The private equity firm bought the shares of the just-listed Fujian Province-based company via the open market,” said a source who requested to remain anonymous.

Asked for the rationale behind the acquisition, the source said: “At this point of time, it is unclear whether Puncak Semangat purchased the stake for investment or synergy purposes.”

Syed Mokhtar (picture), is no stranger to the automotive industry as he owns the country’s biggest automotive company, DRB-Hicom Bhd.

DRB-Hicom is one of the major players in the automotive industry in Malaysia, being involved in the entire integrated chain of the automotive ecosystem such as manufacturing and supply of automotive components, assembly, distribution and sales of motorcycles and commercial vehicles, as well as, the distribution and sales of passenger cars.

China Automobile, meanwhile, makes replacement parts for commercial vehicles, particularly trucks, out of its sole production centre in the Fujian province.

The company is a specialist in manufacturing chassis components used in vehicles for transporting goods.

It sells five categories of products namely wheel-hub bolts, wheel axles, steel pins, u-bolts and torque-rod bushings.

Currently, the source said the company, which has seven patents registered in China, has no direct competitor in that country. Its product lines are also supplied for after-market repair, maintenance and modification, with an emphasis towards catering for components used in heavy vehicles.

Demand for these after-market parts are driven by the need to periodically replace such parts, which endure significant wear and tear over the operating life span of goods-transporting vehicles, the source said.

Additionally, vehicles modified to carry heavier loads require reinforcement of its rear suspension system, which involve replacing existing parts with stronger models capable of enduring higher stress, he said.

At present, 65 per cent of its sales are derived from China while the rest comes from Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

Yesterday, China Automobile, Malaysia’s first initial public offering (IPO) of the year, was the top gainer and most active counter.

Its share price surged 44 sen to RM1.12 before settling the trading day at 78 sen, up 10 sen from its IPO price of 68 sen, with 192 million shares exchanging hands. — Bernama


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