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2 Interesting Things That Investors Should Know About Westports Holdings Bhd’s Shareholders

Westports Holdings Bhd (KLSE: WPRTS) is a port operator listed on the Malaysian stock exchange. The company handles shipping containers and bulk cargo flowing through its port in Klang. Westports also provides a range of services such as marine services, rental services and other ancillary services.

In a previous article here, we looked at some basic information about the company. In this article, we will delve into two interesting points that investors should note about the company’s shareholders base.

Source: Westport Annual Report 2016

Owner-operator

The first thing that investors should note from the above is that Westport is majority owned by Tan Sri Datuk Gnanalingam and Ruben Emir Gnanalingam, the father and son whom, respectively, hold the chairman and chief executive roles at Westport.

Such arrangement means that the bulk majority of power lies in the hands of the major shareholders cum management. Thus, minority investors need to be comfortable with the leadership of Westport’s management before investing in the company (since minority shareholders will have little power to remove them in the event of poor performances).

On a positive note, however, it is very likely that the economic interests of the chairman and chief executive are aligned with the minority shareholders considering the revenue, net profit and dividend growth over the years.

One of Asia’s richest men owns a huge stake

The second largest shareholder of Westport, namely South Port Investment Holdings Limited, is an indirect subsidiary of Hutchison Port Holdings Limited.

Hutchison Port Holdings Limited, in turn, is a subsidiary of CK Hutchison Holdings, owned by one the richest man in Asia, Li Ka Shing.

Having Hutchison as one of its major shareholders means that Westport will likely benefit from the former’s vast resource and operational expertise.

As for minority shareholders, they might find the idea of investing alongside one of the best businessmen in Asia a prudent one. After all, it is likely that the billionaire will know more about the economics of Westport business as compared to most minority shareholders.

Foolish conclusion

In sum, the owner-operator structure and Hutchison’s stake in Westport should provide reasonable assurance to minority shareholders that the company is run in the best interest of them.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Lawrence Nga doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.