PPB’s involvement in the sugar industry began in 1968 with the cultivation and milling of sugar cane in Chuping, Perlis.
In 1976, PPB acquired Malayan Sugar Manufacturing Company Berhad ("MSM") which was engaged in sugar refining. Through MSM, PPB also became indirectly involved in the hotel sector, polybags manufacturing and bulking operations.
Between 1982 and 1984, PPB ventured into the property sector with the acquisition of 100% equity interest in Tai Yan Realty Sdn Bhd (now known as PPB Hartabina Sdn Bhd) and a 34% interest in Shaw Brothers (M) Sdn Bhd.
PPB invested in oil palm cultivation in 1986 through the acquisition of Saremas Sdn Bhd to develop an oil palm plantation in Sarawak and in the following year, acquired 60% equity interest in Sapi Plantations Sdn Bhd to operate an oil palm project in Sabah. In 1995, PPB expanded its oil palm operations to Indonesia with a 70% equity interest in PT Tidar Sungkai Sawit (“TSS”). PPB’s oil palm operations in East Malaysia were subsequently merged under PPB Oil Palms Berhad (“PPBOP”) which was listed on the KLSE (now known as Bursa Securities) in 1997.
In 1987, PPB made a takeover offer for FFM Berhad (“FFM”) enabling PPB to further diversify into flour and animal feed milling, edible oils processing and commodity trading.
In the same year, PPB finalised an agreement with Golden Harvest (International) Ltd (“GH”) of Hong Kong to establish Golden Communications (M) Sdn Bhd (now known as Golden Screen Cinemas Sdn Bhd [“GSC”]) to take over the Shaw cinemas chain. The cinema operations expanded in 1990 when PPB acquired Borneo Filem Organization (M) Sdn Bhd (now known as PPB Leisure Holdings Sdn Bhd [“PPBL”]) which owned the “Cathay Organisation” cinemas. In 1997, the entire cinema operations were injected into GSC, then held by PPBL and GH. PPBL subsequently purchased the remaining GSC shares from GH and other minority shareholders, making GSC a wholly-owned subsidiary of PPBL.
To further diversify the Group’s business activities, PPB in 1993 subscribed for 40% equity interest in Chemquest Sdn Bhd (“Chemquest”) which is engaged in environmental engineering, utilities, waste management, trading of chemicals and contract manufacturing. PPB’s stake in Chemquest increased to 55% in 1998.
In 2000, the PPB Group undertook a series of corporate restructuring exercises to streamline its operations which included the transfer of TSS to PPBOP; injection of PT Healthcare Glovindo and Minsec Engineering Services Sdn Bhd into Chemquest; and the establishment of PGEO Group Sdn Bhd (“PGEO”) to consolidate the edible oils refining operations previously held under FFM and PPBOP. To better reflect its activities, the name of the Company was changed from “Perlis Plantations Berhad” to “PPB Group Berhad” in 2000.
In 2004, FFM was privatized under a members’ scheme of arrangement pursuant to Section 176 of the Companies Act, 1965, making FFM a wholly-owned subsidiary of PPB.
The Group received an offer from Wilmar International Limited (“Wilmar”) in 2006 to acquire from FFM, its 65.8% and 28% equity interests in PGEO and Kuok Oils & Grains Pte Ltd respectively in exchange for new shares in Wilmar. PPBOP, then a 55.6%-subsidiary of PPB, received a Notice of Conditional Take-over Offer from Wilmar to acquire all the PPBOP shares not owned by Wilmar on the basis of 2.3 Wilmar shares for every PPBOP share held. These exercises were completed in 2007 and PPB now owns 18.6% equity interest in Wilmar.
In October 2009, PPB entered into separate conditional sale and purchase agreements with Felda Global Ventures Holdings Sdn Bhd (“FGVH”) to dispose of its entire equity interests in Malayan Sugar Manufacturing Company Berhad and Kilang Gula Felda Perlis Sdn Bhd, and 5,797 hectares of land in Chuping, Perlis. Grenfell Holdings Sdn Bhd, a 49%-associate of PPB, also entered into a sale and purchase agreement with FGVH to dispose of a 20% stake in Tradewinds (M) Berhad. With the completion of these disposals in January 2010, PPB has ceased to be involved in the sugar business.
FFM entered into a subscription agreement with PGEO, a 100%-subsidiary of Wilmar, in December 2010 for the proposed issuance of 55.781 million new FFM shares equivalent to 20% of the enlarged share capital of FFM to PGEO for a total subscription sum of approximately RM378 million. The subscription was completed in March 2011.
Since November 2011, Waikari Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of FFM has acquired 20% stakes in a total of nine subsidiaries of Wilmar engaged in flour milling in China.
In September 2013, PPBL Group acquired a 25% stake in Galaxy Studio Joint Stock Company (Galaxy Studio). Galaxy Studio is a collaboration between wholly-owned GSC Vietnam Limited and Galaxy Media & Entertainment Joint Stock Company, an established media content owner in Vietnam. PPBL raised its equity interest in Galaxy Studio to 40% in 2015.
PPB Group continues to improve on efficiency and productivity as well as grow its core businesses and explore new investment opportunities, especially in businesses which are synergistic to its current operations in its efforts to fulfill its mission statement.