Wilmar, Noble palm oil joint venture stalls

A joint venture announced by Wilmar International and Noble Group in February to produce palm oil and its by-products has stalled, the two Singapore-listed companies said on Tuesday.

The companies had said earlier this year that Wilmar subsidiary Newbloom would own a 53.74 per cent equity stake in the venture while Noble unit Noble Plantations would take a stake of 46.27 per cent.

The venture holds a majority interest in PT Henrison Inti Persada, the owner of 22,593 hectares of land in Papua, Indonesia, which it intends to develop to produce crude palm oil and its by-products.

But on Tuesday, Wilmar and Noble said in a statement that the conditions for the disposal of Noble Plantation's 53.74 per cent equity stake to Newbloom "have not been satisfied as at the long stop date".

That means "Noble will currently continue to hold, indirectly, all the equity interest in Noble Plantations", the statement added.

However, the parties "plan to continue with their proposed partnership by leveraging on their strengths in Papua", the companies said.