sime-darby-motors-logoThe planned initial public offering (IPO) of Sime Darby’s automotive business has been indefinitely postponed, Reuters reports.

Sime Darby, the world’s largest listed palm oil firm, had in February deferred the IPO of Sime Darby Motors to the second half of this year, but three people with direct knowledge of the matter said the deal had been shelved for now. A spokesman said the IPO had been deferred “until the market is conducive for the exercise”, declining to elaborate.

Back in August 2014, the conglomerate recruited CIMB Investment Bank, Maybank Investment Bank, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley to manage the IPO. Bankers had said the Sime Darby Motors IPO could raise up to $500 million (RM1.79 billion).

Sime Darby is the official distributor of five brands in Malaysia, and has a presence in six other countries

Malaysians are familiar with Sime Darby as the franchise holder for Hyundai, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, Porsche and McLaren; as well as the company behind BMW dealer Auto Bavaria. The company’s auto footprint actually extends to China (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan), Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, distributing a range of premium and mass market brands.

According to Thomson Reuters data, Motors accounted for nearly 40% of Sime Darby’s group revenue last year. In the quarter ended December 2014, the division’s profit before interest and tax fell 10% to RM138.2 million, with local operations hit by tough competition in the mass market segment. Lower luxury car sales in China was also a factor.