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Little-known ceramics and pottery products manufacturer, DWL Resources Bhd has shot to the spotlight after a series of recent changes. The company has also declared that it is gunning for infrastructure projects and has teamed up with construction biggie Gadang Holdings Bhd for that purpose.

Yesterday, DWL announced that its new managing director is Datuk Seri Shahril Mokhtar, a household name in the transport sector.

Shahril is known for his extensive stints in land transport and the infrastructure field, his last being the chief executive officer of Mass Rapid Transit Corp Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp) where he oversaw the multibillion MRT line one (Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line) and MRT line two (Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya Line) projects.

The 47-year-old who started his career in the banking industry, was the head honcho of Prasarana Malaysia Bhd from Oct 2010 to Dec 2014 where he led the organisation’s turnaround and transformation plans.

DWL, in a statement, said that Shahril “will play an integral role in bringing the group to the next level particularly in the infrastructure sector” following its recent pre-bid consortium agreement with Gadang to work together to tender for infrastructure projects.

On Thursday, DWL’s unit Million Rich Development Sdn Bhd (MRDSB) entered into the pre-bid consortium agreement with Gadang Engineering (M) Sdn Bhd (GESB).

GESB will have a 70% stake in the “DWL-Gadang Consortium”, while MRDSB will own the remaining 30%.

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Shahril is known for his extensive stints in land transport and the infrastructure field, his last being the chief executive officer of Mass Rapid Transit Corp Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp) where he oversaw the multibillion MRT line one (Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line) and MRT line two (Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya Line) projects.

The 47-year-old who started his career in the banking industry, was the head honcho of Prasarana Malaysia Bhd from Oct 2010 to Dec 2014 where he led the organisation’s turnaround and transformation plans.

DWL, in a statement, said that Shahril “will play an integral role in bringing the group to the next level particularly in the infrastructure sector” following its recent pre-bid consortium agreement with Gadang to work together to tender for infrastructure projects.

On Thursday, DWL’s unit Million Rich Development Sdn Bhd (MRDSB) entered into the pre-bid consortium agreement with Gadang Engineering (M) Sdn Bhd (GESB).

GESB will have a 70% stake in the “DWL-Gadang Consortium”, while MRDSB will own the remaining 30%.

Industry sources say that this consortium will be gunning jobs in the recently revived East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project and the massive Pan Borneo Highway, among others.

A week ago, the government announced that it will proceed with the ECRL project at a reduced cost of RM44bil, 32.8% lower than its original cost of RM65.5bil.

What was notable is the fact that under the newly negotiated terms, Malaysian contractors will have a 40% participation in the RM44bil project as compared to 30% under the previous terms. Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRL) and China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC) have agreed to form a 50:50 joint-venture (JV) company to manage, operate and maintain the ECRL rail network. It will be this body that will be in charge of dishing out contracts to local parties.

Formerly known as Spring Gallery Bhd, the loss-making company opted to change its name to DWL Resources in March this year.

The acronym stands for “‘Dynamic, Wise, Leadership”, according to a circular to shareholders in relation to this.

The company said this was to reflect the management’s renewed pledge to adopt these values to drive the company and business forward.

If recent developments are anything to go by, it certainly is not looking like a small play and ceramics likely to be a thing of the past.

So far two interesting names have surfaced as major shareholders of DWL.

First is Wan Khalik Wan Muhammad with a 10% stake in January when he bought 19.86 million shares via his private investment vehicle Total Sejati Sdn Bhd.

Wan Khalik, who last week was re-designated as executive chairman, has Sarawak connections.

He was previously principal private secretary to the Chief Minister of Sarawak from 2013 until July 2018. He had served under current chief minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Abdul Rahman Zohari Abang Openg, and the latter’s late predecessor Tan Sri Adenan Satem who passed away in January 2017.

According to DWL filings, Wan Khalik is also a co-founder of a software development company which he started since 2000. He also has business interest in few businesses such as food and beverage, marine, telecommunications, construction and engineering.

A week before Wan Khalik’s emergence as a substantial shareholder, Spring Gallery’s CEO and executive director Datuk Lim Chaing Cheah resigned to “focus on ceramic business at the subsidiary level.”

The company’s other new shareholder is Datuk Mohd Aminul Islam Abdul Nor, who is well-known in the corporate circle as being the owner of the concessionaire that manages the foreign worker centralised management system.

Mohd Aminul surfaced in the company on April 12 with a 30% stake, making him the single largest shareholder.

His entry came after he acquired all the shares in Greenfield Hills Sdn Bhd – the holding company that owns 59.65 million shares in DWL.

Two executive directors of DWL, namely Tan Ooi Jin and Lim Mun Shung were the ones who sold their shares in Greenfield Hills to Mohd Aminul, stock exchange filings showed.

Market talk is that Mohd Aminul may be exploring injecting his foreign worker centralised management system, said to be a lucrative business, into DWL.

For now, DWL remains a loss-making company but has a clean balance sheet. For the second quarter ended Dec 31, the company made a net loss of RM970,000 on a revenue of RM3.9mil. Its cash and cash equivalents as at that period stood at RM10mil with no debt.

In its second quarter report, the company said that the ceramic division continues to face challenges to meet market demands, as well as competition from other regions and rising costs in determining its pricing policy.

Besides ceramics and pottery, the company had diversified into property construction in the past few years to widen its source of income.

Going forward, however, observers do not rule the possibility of asset injection from the new shareholders.

Changes at DWL have put the stock on the radar since the start of the month.

Yesterday, it rose over 19.09% or by 21 sen to RM1.31, giving the stock a market cap of RM260.23mil.

But past the initial euphoria, DWL would not only need to successfully bid for the big projects but also deliver on them, profitably.

“It is a competitive market out there. There are many companies chasing infra projects,” says one dealer.

http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2019/04/20/dwl-resources-in-focus/
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