Saturday, 8 July 2017

(The Star) Jetson’s ambitious plans stalled by setbacks

It does seem as if Kumpulan Jetson Bhd, a construction and property developer, is struggling to fulfil its ambitious plans.

In August 2009, this barely known construction outfit found itself in the limelight when the captains of Naza Group, SM Nasarudin SM Nasimuddin and SM Faliq SM Nasimuddin took over Jetson after acquiring a 33.2% stake in the company as part of their plans for the latter to spearhead Naza’s property development ventures.

This had caused the company’s share price to surge by more than 500% in just three months, sparking speculation that the Main Market company would be the listed property entity of Naza Group.

But within two years of talks and developments, the deal fell through and the Naza officials sold out of the company.

That chapter did not hinder Jetson from looking out for opportunities.

Jetson founder and managing director Datuk Teh Kian An was said to be searching for a strategic partner for to ensure that the company has steady inflow of jobs.

Then towards the end of 2012, Shapadu Capital Bhd, a bumiputera conglomerate, emerged with a 8.81% stake in Jetson via a private placement exercise.

The plans were for Shapadu to inject some of its oil and gas assets into Jetson, but this too failed and by the end of 2013, Shapadu ceased to be substantial shareholder of Jetson.

Fast forward to today, Jetson had seem like it was on a roll, when in quick succession, the company announced two major contract wins in 2017.

One was a RM201.87mil sub-contracting job for the Sungai Besi-Ulu Kelang Expressway, which it bagged with another Beijing-based company, China Communications Construction Co Ltd in February, this year.

And the other was the recent RM919.32mil sub-contracting job for high-rise serviced apartments and a hotel along Jalan Conlay, Kuala Lumpur that was announced on June 29.

This new contract was simply eye-popping because Jetson’s market capitalisation ballooned 9.5 times from RM96.94mil on June 29.

Its shares price hit a two-year high at 48.5 sen on the same day.

However, MCC Overseas (M) Sdn Bhd had unilaterally rescinded the contract due to an alleged misrepresentation or non-disclosure of a certain matter in relation to the project, according to Jetson’s filings on July 4.

“A certain matter, namely that one of the substantial shareholders of the company (Jetson) is a director of a third-party consultant to the employer of the project,” Jetson said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia.

While Jetson denied any such misrepresentation, non-disclosure or wrongdoing that gave rise to such rescission, it felt that MCC had wrongfully terminated the contract, Jetson said in its filings.

It contends that MCC did not accord it ample time to respond to the matter and is now seeking legal advice on the matter.

Since then, Jetson shares have tumbled 31.89% to 33 sen at Friday’s close. At this price, the company is now worth RM66.65mil.

That said, the emergence of a substantial shareholder in Jetson last December is perhaps causing some excitement in the market.

Phoa Boon Ting, a director of Asia Pacific Engineering Consortium Sdn Bhd surfaced with a 5.43% equity stake in Jetson and has been increasing his shareholding since then.

Said to be a an engineer by profession, he now holds a 8.97% block in Jetson.

Meanwhile, Jetson had proposed a fund-rasing exercise via a private placement of up to 22.22 million new ordinary shares in Jetson to an independent third party investor to be identified later.

Is Phoa the third party investor?

Should it be him or parties aligned to him, then it will be interesting to see what he has in store for Jetson. Teh is the major shareholder in Jetson with an 11.8% block, followed by Next Peak Assets Ltd at 9.16%.