Did 'someone' in the Selangor government profit from the Talam deal? Maybe someone very influential? But who? And how was the profit made? (Graphic by Dayang Norazhar/The Mole)
In 2006, Talam was already a company in trouble and about to be delisted. It used to have many, many 'friends' in the BN establishment, you could even argue these BN friends were the ones that got Talam into trouble in the first place! However, there came a time even these friends could not save it. Somewhere along the way of it trying to save itself, Talam converted some of its loans to preference shares, loan stock and Islamic financial instruments to the value of RM423.4 Million to Abrar Discount House. This was all done legally and would have remained innocent if Talam was not delisted from Bursa Malaysia then soon after!
However, with Talam delisted or made a PN17 company, all the RM423.4 Million worth of equity and financial instruments of Talam that was owned by Abrar Discount House effectively has no value! The value of all these Talam ‘financial paper’ was effectively zero because no one could buy or sell them on the open market with Talam being delisted. In addition to that, no one would want to buy them because Talam was immediately seen to be such a lousy company that was delisted!
So, Abrar Discount House was then holding all of this Talam paper with effectively zero value that they ‘bought’ for RM423.4 Million.
In 29 June 2009, something interesting happened. Kumpulan Europlus, a major shareholder of Talam also controlled by TS Chan Ah Chye, announced that it was buying all of the Talam paper from Abrar Discount House for RM125 Million. When the news came out, it was reported as being a good deal for Kumpulan Europlus, as it was buying RM423.4 Million worth of equity etc. from Abrar Discount House for RM125 Million, a 71% discount! However, there is just one problem. With Talam still delisted, still PN17, any of its financial paper would be worth zero! Including the ones Abrar Discounts House held!
Read more HERE.