Saturday, June 15

Johari Abdul Ghani now a major shareholder of MyNews

Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani, a businessman and Umno politician, became a key shareholder of MyNews Holdings Bhd a few months ago through JAG Capital Holdings Sdn Bhd, prompting significant boardroom changes at the group, which operates convenience store franchises.

When contacted, a source claimed, however, that the emergence of Johari as a new shareholder was “not related” to changes in the boardroom.

According to a filing on Tuesday, the business announced the departure of its executive chairman, Ding Lien Bing, effective September 30.

According to the filing, Ding has met his objectives and is quitting due to time constraints from other personal responsibilities. He will nonetheless continue to advise MyNews’ management.

In the filing, it is also stated that “Ding has successfully assisted the management in streamlining the business for post-pandemic recovery.” Group CEO Dang Tai Luk has been chosen to take over as chairman in Ding’s absence.

Dang Tai Luk and Tai Wen are brothers who, along with another brother, Tai Hock, who acts as an executive director of MyNews, own D&D Consolidated Sdn Bhd, MyNews’ largest shareholder.

D&D Consolidated has a direct interest of 52.53 percent, or 394.22 million shares, as of August 3.

The changes to the board of directors happened months after Johari, through JAG Capital, became a significant shareholder in the business.

JAG purchased 68.2 million shares, or 9.09 percent of the firm, through a share placement on July 12, according the filing with Bursa Malaysia on July 14th. Following that, seven million further shares were acquired through an off-market transaction.

Johari, who is well-known for his work with QSR Brands Bhd and KFC Holdings (M) Bhd, previously owned shares in both of these businesses, which he sold in 2005. Through JAG Capital, he now owns a 32.96 percent stake in KUB Malaysia Bhd and CI Holdings.

MyNews, which runs more than half of its 615 convenience store outlets in the Klang Valley, has continued to underperform in the aftermath of the pandemic, owing to a competitive operating environment and operational issues in growing its Korean convenience store chain CU.

Despite revenue increasing 20 percent to RM544.08 million from RM450.73 million, it remained in the red for the entire 9MFY2023, with a cumulative net loss of RM11.65 million from RM19.54 million.

According to reports, the company plans to open another 70 to 100 outlets in FY2024. The most recent report indicates that its network includes 19 WHSmith stores, 133 CU stores, and 463 MyNews locations.

MyNews shares were down 1.5 cents, or 2.7 percent, to 53.5 cents at the time of writing, giving the company a market value of about RM402 million.

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