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In 1910, British businessmen William Sime and Henry Darby established Sime, Darby & Co, a fledgling player in the lucrative rubber industry. The company later diversified to cultivating palm oil and coca and met with enormous success.
William Middleton Sime
William Middleton Sime was a 37-year-old Scottish adventurer and fortune seeker. He had two failed ventures behind him – one in import-export business and the other in coffee plantations - when he left his job as a mercantile assistant in Singapore.
Henry Darby was a wealthy 50-year-old English banker who owned property in Northern Malaya.
Kumpulan Guthrie Berhad
Main article: Guthrie (company)
The company was founded in Singapore in 1821 by Alexander Guthrie: it was the first British trading company in South East Asia. Guthrie introduced rubber and oil palm in Malaysia in 1896 and 1924 respectively.
Main article: Golden Hope
In 1905 Harrison and Crosfield, a British tea and coffee trading company, purchased several small estates in Malaysia for £50,000 and amalgamated them to form the Golden Hope Rubber Estate.
In 1982 Harrison and Crosfield sold three large plantation groups - Golden Hope, Pataling, and London Asiatic - to Malaysian concerns for £146 million.
The business was renamed GHPB in 1990 after Pemodalan Nasional Berhad took majority equity of the company. Its interests originally were in tropical agriculture but, while plantations have remained a core business interest, the company has diversified into other areas including glycerine manufacture, fruit juices and real estate. The group now has 83 subsidiaries based in seven countries. The main estate and plantations are Carey Island and Banting in Selangor.
Malaysianisation of the three companies
In the late 1970s just under half the equity in Sime Darby Holdings was acquired by Malaysian investors – mainly through Tradewinds (Malaysia) Sendirian Berhad. In December 1979 with the incorporation of two new Malaysian entities, Sime Darby Berhad (SDB) and Consolidated Plantations Berhad (CPB), Sime Darby moved its headquarters to Kuala Lumpur and became a Malaysian registered and managed concern. By 1983, the Malaysian equity stood at over 54%.
In 1981, the group became a wholly Malaysian-owned company after former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad engineered a raid by Pemodalan Nasional Berhad to take over the group at the London Stock Exchange.
Guthrie Group was made a public company in 1987 and was subsequently listed on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (KLSE) in 1989 in what was then the largest public issue in Malaysia.
In 1982 Harrison and Crossfield sold three large plantation groups - Golden Hope, Pataling, and London Asiatic - to Malaysian concerns for £146 million. The business was renamed Golden Hope Plantations Berhad in 1990 after Pemodalan Nasional Berhad took majority equity of the company. Its interests originally were in tropical agriculture but, while plantations have remained a core business interest, the company has diversified into other areas including glycerine manufacture, fruit juices and real estate. The group now has 83 subsidiaries based in seven countries. The main estate and plantations are Carey Island and Banting in Selangor.
In January 2007, the three Malaysian giants merged into the vehicle entity named Synergy Drive and on 27 November 2007, Synergy Drive was renamed Sime Darby Berhad.
Sime Darby Berhad, the merged entity of three Malaysian corporations is a diversified Malaysian multinational with a workforce of 104,300 employees. Its core businesses are plantations, property, motor, heavy equipment and energy & utilities which are expected to benefit from continued population growth and economic development within the Asia Pacific region and the global economy. Sime Darby's non-core business units such as healthcare, insurance, and home products are grouped under its Allied Products and Services division (APS). Subsidiaries under APS include Sime Darby Medical Centre Subang Jaya (formerly known as Subang Jaya Medical Centre) (healthcare), Sime Alexander Forbes (insurance), and Dunlopillo Malaysia Sdn Bhd (home products). It also has a controlling share in the supermarket chain Tesco in Malaysia. Sime Darby is a multinational company, with more than 60 percent of the group’s revenue coming from abroad.
As a result of the merger, Sime Darby became one of the world’s leading listed oil palm plantation groups. Sime Darby Berhad also has a significant presence in downstream palm oil activities. The merger also made Sime Darby a leading developer of residential and commercial communities. Furthermore it holds Caterpillar rights in 12 countries worldwide and distributorship and dealership of well known motor brands such as BMW. The current President and Group Chief Executive is Dato’ Seri Ahmad Zubir Murshid.
Sime Darby is an international conglomerate involved in many types of businesses raging from aerospace to tourism. Plantation sector remains the most important sector for the company.
Plantation is Sime Darby largest revenue generator. In 2009, about 70% of the conglomerate profits comes from this segment. The company operates palm oil and rubber plantations in Malaysia and Indonesian islands of Sumatera, Kalimantan and Sulawesi. With a land bank of over 633,000 hectares, including 300,000 hectares in Indonesia.It is one of the largest plantation company in the world.
The company is involved in the property development business in eight countries, namely Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, People's Republic of China, Australia and United Kingdom.
One of the most notable township that the company built was Sime UEP in Subang Jaya, Ara Damansara in Bukit Damansara and Bandar Bukit Raja in Klang.
The company is involved in the purchasing, leasing and selling of industrial equipment such as Caterpillar Inc. heavy duty trucks and tractors
The company has motor dealerships in eight countries. It owns Auto Bavaria in Malaysia, which sells BMWs and MINIs. With partnership with Ford, it sells Ford's cars and trucks together with the Land Rover brand. It is also a major BMW dealer in Singapore, Australia and Thailand. In Southern China, the company sells BMW and Rolls-Royce.
In addition, Sime Darby co-owns Inokom Corp Bhd, a joint-venture with Hyundai Motor Company which assembles and sells Hyundai vehicles in Malaysia.
The company is an Oil and Gas services company which provides equipment for exploring oil and gas assets in the South East Asia region.
The company is also an independent power provider in Malaysia and Thailand. The company also provides engineering services in the system integration and sales sectors, security and oil & gas sectors.
Under the healthcare division, the company has a hospital and college of its own. The hospoital name as Sime Darby Medical Centre Subang Jaya Sdn. Bhd (SDMC - Formerly known as Subang Jaya Medical Centre - SJMC) and its college formerly known as SJMC Academy of Nursing and Health Sciences, it was established in 1995 and currently is known as Sime Darby Nursing and Health Sciences College.
The company has a port utility company named Weifang Sime Darby Port Co Ltd. Other businesses that the company is involved in include healthcare, aerospace (divested from Asian Composites Manufacturing (ACM) in 2009), bedding, consumer and industrial products, logistics and packing.
The company also owns the 30% of the Malaysian arm of Tesco stores.
Sime Darby plantations implemented Zero Burning Planting Techniques (ZBPT), a practical and environmentally sound technique of replanting, in 1989: the old and uneconomical stands of oil palms and other tree crops are felled and shredded and left to decompose in situ.
^ a b c Elementis
^ (Indonesian) "Tak ada investasi tanpa insentif". Majalah Tempo. 30 November 2009.