Agriculture minister confirms in talks with potential buyer for NFCorp

Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Salahuddin Ayub attends the ministry’s monthly assembly in Putrajaya May 23, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Salahuddin Ayub attends the ministry’s monthly assembly in Putrajaya May 23, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

PUTRAJAYA, May 23 — Datuk Salahuddin Ayub confirmed today that a local corporation has expressed interest in buying over beleaguered National Feedlot Corporation (NFCorp).

The agriculture and agro-based industry minister declined to provide further details as negotiations are ongoing.

“I can’t reveal the company because the negotiations are in progress.

“I think they can fulfil the terms and conditions, and it is no problem for MoA to facilitate, he said, using the abbreviation for his ministry.

He indicated that his ministry has to look at the terms of reference for the new company to acquire NFCorp, which it can only do after the unnamed company settles certain loans to the Finance Ministry.

“If everything is back on track, MOA will facilitate them,” he said.

The minister also demurred when asked if the new company would get any tax rebate as an incentive to revive the failed cattle breeding project.

“That one we will discuss later. Let them settle the takeover first,” he replied.

NFCorp chairman Datuk Seri Mohamad Salleh Ismail told Malay Mail yesterday that the company has had an interested buyer since October last year who is ready to fully repay its outstanding loan of over RM253 million to the federal government.

NFCorp was formed in 2007 with its subsidiary, National Feedlot Centre, to monitor, guide and train contract farmers to expand the local beef industry and move away from the government’s dependency on imported meat.

The company was hit by scandal when Mohamad Salleh, the husband of former Umno Wanita head and former women, family and community development minister, Tan Sri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, was charged with two counts of criminal breach of trust involving some RM49.7 million.

He was acquitted in November 2015.

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