Olam is raising $1.25b in a bonds and warrants issue exercise to strengthen its liquidity position. Temasek Holdings, its major shareholder, has pledged to pick up all remaining bonds and warrants that are not taken up in a show of confidence or a show of faith. Muddy Waters is still holding on to its position that Olam is over stretched and is a risky bet. Several analysts and brokerage have also issued sell recommendations and MayBank has revised Olam’s value downwards to $1.42 from $1.75.
This Olam saga is becoming the biggest betting game for the moment with investors and analysts making guesses both ways. What is the real picture of Olam’s financial health is going to be of great interest as a bad call or a bad turn could make many investors win or lose big time.
Temasek is betting big this time round and it could mean many things. Is it a case of Olam being too big to fail and Temasek has no choice, being too deeply into Olam it has to boost up some support to protect its position? Or has Temasek done its homework thoroughly and betting a winning horse? Only time will tell as the parties on both sides of the bet are equally convinced of their positions.
Even with the financial data on the table, it is not easy to know the true picture of Olam’s financial standing or its viability as a business concern. It could end up a big win for Temasek or holding on to a big lemon. Is anyone wiser? This is supposed to be business analysis and not buying a gambling chip in the casino, but it seems that it is the case at the moment.