The Scomi story

So much have been talked about the Scomi Group. Until four years ago, where it was listed, this company which started as Subang Commercial Omnibus & Motor, was hardly known. Till the two partners in business, Kamaluddin Abdullah and Shah Hakim Zain, through their holding company, Kaspadu Sdn. Bhd., took substantial shares (37%) and control of the company, Scomi had not had any substantial achievements.

This was featured by NST in 6 Nov 2003:

06 November 2003
The New Straits Times

Scomi to buy 71pc of Oiltools for RM300m

SCOMI Group Bhd is buying a controlling stake in Oiltools International Ltd for about RM300 million, a move that will give it market presence in more than 27 countries.

Sources said Scomi is buying a 70.9 per cent stake in Singapore-based Oiltools, a drilling waste management company from British venture capital company, 3i plc.

Sources also said Scomi will make a 3-for-5 bonus issue and a 5-for-1 share split, which an analyst said would make its shares more affordable.

Trading in the company’s shares, which has been investors’ favourite since its listing on May 13, was suspended in mid-morning trade yesterday, and would continue to be suspended today.

Before being suspended it rose 2.8 per cent, or 40 sen, to close at RM14.50 with 548,100 shares traded. Its shares have surged more than seven times its first-day closing price of RM2.01.

During the same period the second board index had gained 66.8 per cent; the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (KLCI), 25 per cent; and the broader Emas Index, 30.4 per cent.

They added that the acquisition would be financed by the issuance of bonds and a proposed 10 per cent private placement.

“The purchase of Oiltools will make Scomi an international oil and gas company,” a source said.

“It will also make it the second integrated mud engineering services company in the world, second only to M-I Drilling Fluids of the United Kingdom,” the source added.

Scomi, in a statement to the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (KLSE) yesterday, said it would be making a proposed material acquisition and other corporate proposals including a fund-raising, bonus issue and share split. It also requested a suspension of its stock today.

However, the shares of Scomi had been suspended since yesterday morning.

Sources also said Scomi’s move to buy a firm outside of Malaysia could quell talks that the company was benefiting from its links to Putrajaya.

Kamaluddin Abdullah, a controlling shareholder in Scomi, is the only son of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Scomi is controlled by Kamaluddin via his controlling stake in Kaspadu Sdn Bhd. However, he does not hold any management position in Scomi.

Kamaluddin, breaking his silence since the listing of Scomi, told local newspapers recently that he and his father Abdullah were saddened by the connection of Scomi’s share price to Abdullah’s political career.


He said he is also wary of what his father’s position as Malaysia’s fifth Prime Minister would mean for his business and ventures. It was also one of the reasons that made Kamaluddin bring much of his enterprises overseas, extending even to North Africa.

“It’s difficult for me to do business here in Malaysia. I think there’s a lot more attention focused on me than I would like to have,” Kamaluddin was quoted as saying.

He also said that there would still be people who would link his profession to his father’s political career or “take pot shots at him” because his father is the Prime Minister.

Sources said the Oiltools deal is expected to see the company generating more than 70 per cent of its business from abroad.


In 2004, Scomi transferred the listing and quotation for the entire enlarged issued and paid-up share capital of Scomi from the Second Board to the Main Board of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad (“Bursa Malaysia“) on 13 May 2004, the first anniversary of its initial listing on the Second Board of the Bursa Malaysia.

Scomi then re-organized and an array of high powered and respected business professionals were invited to sit in the board. The Chairman is Tan Sri Asmat Kamaluddin, a long time MITI Secretary General. Dato’ Azman yahya, who etched his name in the capital market as the founding Exco of Danaharta and later founded Symphony House, another plc. Dato’ Azlan Hashim, former KLSE Chairman and now Proton Chairman is also on the board with Tan Sri Nik Mohamed Nik Yaacob, former Sime Darby MD.

On 30th September 2005, Scomi completed the strategic investment into the marine vessel transportation business through a 29.6% investment in Habib Corporation Berhad which has been renamed to Scomi Marine Bhd (“SMB”).

Scomi subscribed to 160 million Preference Shares, which upon conversion to ordinary shares in October 2006, will make Scomi the single largest shareholder of SMB at 43.1%. This investment is a consolidation of Scomi’s marine vessel transportation business that gives Scomi an access to a fleet of 158 vessels comprising of utility vessels, anchor handling tugs, barges, tugs, accommodation barges and landing craft

Today, Scomi Group Bhd. comprises of 1,005 million shares and has a market price of RM 1.16 per share.

Things changed thereafter. Scomi got the contract by the Malayan Railway to refurbish railway coaches. Scomi also got involved with the oil and gas industry and start to act as contractors to Petronas. Recently, Scomi Marine Bhd. was backdoor listed, through Habib Group. Scomi Group’s core business is in the oil & gas industry, offering the following products and services:

• drilling fluids and related engineering services for drilling operations;
• provision of drilling waste management solutions;
• distribution of products & services;
• supply of industrial & production chemicals & production enhancement;
• energy logistics;
• energy and logistics engineering;

Scomi’s business operations is conducted through its main subsidiary and associate companies:-

Kota Minerals & Chemicals Sdn Bhd (“KMC”)
KMC Oiltools Bermuda Limited (“KMC Oiltools”)
Scomi Marine Bhd (“SMB”)
Scomi Engineering Bhd (“SEB”)

Scomi is currently on a very active bidding into the Penang Second Bridge and Penang Monorail System, both announced under the 9MP package for Penang. Many felt is rather improper that Scomi, being controlled and substantial shareholding held by Dato’ Kamaluddin Abdullah is very serious vying into the two projects, where else Penang is the homestate for Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, as the two have father-son relationship.

Of course Prime Minister Abdullah vehemently denied that his son or his business, benefited directly from the Government and/or any Government’s agency and GLCs. He said this on the primetime interview on TV3 with then the Bernama Chairman, Dato’ Annuar Zaini. Again, he repeated this claim in a Bangkok newspaper.

However, Prime Minister Abdullah also said that Scomi has a very valuable expertise in mud-drilling, for the oil and gas industry and this expertise is not available by other contractors, here in Malaysia. The strange thing is that, before Scomi, how did the industry around these waters managed to get their work done all these years, if only Scomi had the expertise and Scomi came into this oil and gas industry, very recently.

In February 2004, BBC came out a report about Scomi subsidiary, Scomi Precision Engineering Sdn. Bhd. Was making centrifuge for export to Libya. These components were said made for nuclear devices. A Sri Lankan national, B.S.A. Tahir, was arrested and placed under ISA detention. It was said said Tahir arranged for the financing for Kamaluddin and Shah to take over control of Scomi, earlier.

This episode had another twist. On 26th August 2006, the CEO and four executives of Mitutoyo Corporation were arrested by Tokyo Police for the connection of sale of equipment to Scomi, for the production of the centrifuge. There is a news blackout about this arrest in Malaysia. However, a Malay online political bulletin Berita MyKMU ( carried this story for the first time Malaysia, on the national day eve, last year.

Recently, the wife of Tahir and Dato’ Thajudeed Wahab, Chief Private Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office were seen together in a gourmet coffee joint, at an up market suburb of Kuala Lumpur.

Prime Minister’s Abdullah’s denial somehow did not manage to detach popular belief that Scomi managed to win business opportunities and contracts, based solely on its own track record. It seems more to come for Scomi, based on their explosive and meteoric rise the past four very short years.

Coincidentally, three years ago today, the Malaysian eligible voting age public voted Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Barisan Nasional to a thunderous landslide 199 seat victory in the 219 seat Parliament. That is undoubtably the best Perikatan-BN performace since the first General Elections in 1955. Apparently, the “feel good” and “change of management” were very big contributing factors.

Will Prime Minister Abdullah able to sustain this, in the next round? That is something everyone anxious to see.

Published in: on March 21, 2007 at 01:52  Comments (7)