At the company’s 24th AGM here yesterday, its shareholders passed five resolutions including the sale of its 74.17% stake in insurer Oriental Capital Assurance Bhd (OCAB) to Salcon Bhd for RM129.81 million and the distribution of surplus to shareholders as a result of disposal of the entire assets in the company.
"We are hoping to give back one-to-one because they (the shareholders) invested a RM1 (per share). We plan to buy the mother shares for RM1 (per share) and we have given 25 million in bonus shares, which will also be bought back at RM1 (per share)," Maika’s CEO Vell Paari told reporters after the AGM.
"Whether it is a RM1 or RM1.01 or RM1.02, it depends on the institutions that we are trying to negotiate (with) for a good discount. If we get back, then we can give back a good return," said Vell Paari.
“We want to give the shareholders the option to do what they want. They can take their money back or opt to continue with the company,” said Vell, adding that the future of the company lay in the shareholders. “If everyone wants to take their money back, then there is no more Maika. But if there are some money left, then we will look at new options for the company.”
Other assets that are expected to be disposed of include a 150-acre beach front land in Sepang, 40 acres of land in Sepang, and its IT subsidiary Maika Intellectual Resources Snd Bhd. Of the land, the company is allocating a few acres for housing for workers in the estate in Sepang.
“We also expect some recovery from the Inland Revenue Board,” he said. The company will use the proceeds of sale of its assets and the payback from IRB to settle its debts with Danaharta Management Sdn Bhd and Southern Bank Bhd (now CIMB).
He added that Danaharta was willing to consider a RM12.5 million settlement in full for the RM30.42 million in secured borrowing facilities in default that was being managed by Danaharta. As at Dec 31, 2007, Maika also had other banking facilities totalling RM22.21 million.
Maika posted a net loss after taxation of RM9.03 million for the year ended Dec 31, 2006 due to the provision made in OCAB of RM13.9 million in bad and doubtful debts, leading to the insurer making a net loss of RM9.33 million. “We have recovered RM5.9 million (of the doubtful debts) since,” Vell Paari said.
Vell also said he expected to step down as its CEO once the liquidation of assets was completed.
“My role was only to clean up and cash up the company. Once I have done that, then my role ceases. I will step down and may remain a director in Maika. The company may want to hire a more professional CEO and they can look at the new board structure,” said Vell who was appointed CEO in 1999.
He also said that he had done well for the company. “But if I was allowed to do my work instead of spending more time in commercial crime and anti-corruption office, then I would have done better,” he said adding that he had no regrets and that his conscience was clear.
Maika was established in 1982 to allow the Indian community to take a share in the country's economic development. A total of RM104 million was raised from 66,000 shareholders – many of whom are estate workers who had pawned their family jewellery and withdrew their life savings to invest in the company.
The company's AGM was punctuated by a series of incidences. Former MIC deputy president S Subramaniam who attended the meeting claimed that he was roughed up by a group of men when he attempted to speak at the meeting.