The UK’s MP Evans Group Plc said on 6 December that it had agreed to sell its 37% stake in Indonesian oil palm plantation firm PT Agro Muko for US$100M as it continues to try and fight off a takeover offer from Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd, reports Alliance News.

MP Evans said it was selling its stake to Belgian joint venture partner, Sipef group, which already holds a 47% interest in the company.

The sale price is worth US$13,860 per planted hectare in PT Agro Muko, comprising US$13,000 per planted hectare in addition to the value of PT Agro Muko's current assets.

MP Evans said the US$13,000/ha figure was close to the independent valuation figure of US$13,100 per planted hectare that it cited on 16 November in rejecting KL Kepong's takeover bid.

"The agreed sale price strongly supports the independent valuer's recent valuation not only of PT Agro Muko but also of all the group's other Indonesian assets, and provides another compelling reason to reject the KLK offer," said Peter Hadsley-Chaplin, chairman of MP Evans.

MP Evants’ assets consist of oil palm plantations (both majority and minority held) in Indonesia and residential property development in Malaysia.

The company said the sale was in line with its strategy of selling off its minority-held Indonesian estates in favour of directly-managed projects and it was now looking at a prospective investment to replace "at least" the equivalent of the 7,200ha it held in PT Agro Muko.

MP Evans also said it was planning to sell its 38% share in PT Kerasaan, another Indonesian palm-oil joint venture with Sipef, comprising 2,300 planted hectares.

Indonesia’s PT Austindo Nusantara Jaya TBK (ANJ) is also selling its 10.87% interest in PT Agro Muko to Sipef.

“As a result of these transactions, the SIPEF group will – with an interest of 95% – acquire exclusive control over PT Agro Muko,” the Belgian company said.

Sipef said the sales by ANJ and MP Evans were subject to conditions including shareholder approval by MP Evans and approval by the Capital Investment Coordinating Board in Indonesia.

“It is expected that all conditions will be fulfilled during the first quarter of 2017.”

PT Agro Muko was founded in February 1990 and is a mixed oil palm (17,849ha) and rubber (1,721ha) plantation with two palm oil extraction mills, a biomass plant and a rubber factory.

In 2011, PT Agro Muko became 100% RSPO certified and supplies about 100,000 tonnes of sustainable palm oil and palm kernels.