Barefoot Investor: Aziz Shamsuddin Carrefour's new partner?

French retailer Carrefour, which announced its decision to not sell its Malaysian business, may have found a new local partner.

Sources told Business Times that Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Shamsuddin, former minister of rural and regional development, has a stake in Carrefour Malaysia.

Carrefour in Malaysia is operated by Magnificient Diagraph Sdn Bhd.

Reports showed that Abdul Aziz is the chairman of Carrefour in Malaysia and was earlier the adviser to the retailer.

Malaysian regulation requires that foreign hypermarkets have a 30 per cent local shareholder.

Numerous attempts by Business Times to reach Abdul Aziz to confirm this information failed.

An official from Carrefour declined to comment when asked if its chairman Abdul Aziz was indeed a shareholder in the company.

A search with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) revealed that the shareholding structure has not been updated.

Its previous local shareholder Syarikat Pesaka Antah Sdn Bhd, which sold its stake in mid-January 2010, is still shown as a shareholder.Syarikat Pesaka Antah bought the 30 per cent stake in 2005.

Syarikat Pesaka Antah has not been removed from the shareholder list despite the fact that the information on a new director was updated on the SSM documents, following the appointment in April 2010.

Magnificient opened its first Malaysian Carrefour outlet in 1994. Its 30 per cent shareholder then was Datuk Ishak Ismail, former managing director of KFC Holdings Bhd.

Ishak reduced his shareholding in Magnificient to 15 per cent before divesting the remaining stake in 2000.

SSM filings also showed that in the financial year ended December 31 2009, Carrefour made a net profit of RM14.84 million on the back of RM1.61 billion in revenue.

This compares to a net profit of RM33.15 million and a revenue of RM1.59 billion in the year ended 2008.

As at October 2010, Carrefour has the licence to operate 21 hypermarkets and six superstores.

It now operates 18 hypermarkets and five superstores.

Read more: Aziz Shamsuddin Carrefour's new partner?


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