Press Metal keen to forge long-term partnerships based on trust & integrity

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Forged and shaped in Malaysia, Press Metal has blazed a trail for home-bred companies by investing in Sarawak’s key industrial zone. Its founder talks about the values that have made the company successful.

In 25 years, Press Metal has grown from a small family business into one of the region’s biggest suppliers of aluminium. Growing in tandem with the company is the integrity and trust borne out of the family values that made the company successful in the first place.

And that is the message Press Metal would like to send to potential investors from the Middle East. Dato’ Paul P. K. Koon, CEO and founder of Press Metal, said the company’s business ideals are based on trust and long-term partnerships – traits that would take the industry in Malaysia forward.

“Maintaining integrity is key for us and it has helped us so far,” Dato’ Paul said. “We believe business is long term. When people look at Press Metal, they see a company they can trust so that there is a basis for further discussion, whether it is about business or investment. We don’t just come and go. Whatever we promise, we deliver. We don’t over-promise but we deliver whatever we have committed.”

Press Metal, which now has a presence in the United States, Europe and East Asia, is one of two companies in Southeast Asia to operate an aluminium smelter. They own a 120,000 tonne annual capacity plant in Mukah, Sarawak and are building a new facility in the Samalaju Industrial Park in Sarawak’s fast-developing Bintulu district that will add another 240,000 tonnes once completed in 2013.

The company owns another smelter in China that produces 90,000 tonnes of aluminium a year. Although headquartered in peninsular Malaysia, Press Metal is an integral part of major infrastructural and economic developments taking place in Sarawak, Malaysia’s largest state.

As a public listed company, Press Metal is open to investment either through the equity market or through formal partnerships. Japanese conglomerate Sumitomo Corp has a 20 per cent interest in Press Metal’s Sarawak operations after a deal in 2010 for its investment in the aluminium business.

Malaysia is currently a net importer of aluminium. But as the country gradually catches up to developed nations in terms of consumption, Press Metal expects its higher production capacity would enable the company to fulfil all domestic demand for the metal without the need to import.

Sumitomo invested in Press Metal’s Sarawak operations on the prospect of eventual Malaysian self-sufficiency in aluminium, and Dato’ Paul says potential investors from the Middle East are welcome.

“We are always open to explore further partnership opportunities,” said Dato’ Paul. “With big investors, we can grow the business and handle bigger projects.” He also had some words of advice for Middle Eastern interests looking to move into Sarawak – spend time and make an effort to understand the local culture.

“Adapting to the Malaysian culture will take a bit of time,” said Dato’ Paul. “This is important because we want a long-term partnership. There has to be trust.”

However, Dato’ Paul said that once a relationship has been established the business benefits of the partnership will manifest for both parties because of the potential for expansion throughout Southeast Asia.

“Malaysia can be a stepping stone for Indonesia, Vietnam and other places where there are a lot of mining opportunities,” said Dato’ Paul. “Many people are unfamiliar with doing business in these countries. But we speak the same language (in Indonesia) and share similar business cultures so we have the advantage. There are a lot of spin-off opportunities. There are plenty of resources that other countries would like to invest in.”

Dato’ Paul said that Press Metal has encountered overseas companies wanting to do business in places such as Indonesia but they are unsure of the business environment.

“We have the experience in these places so they seek us out and are willing to come together with us to explore the opportunities,” he said.

Press Metal started as a downstream aluminium player but since they started production in the last decade, the company has focused on upstream activities. However, Dato’ Paul said the company is eager to expand into more downstream businesses to support its production capabilities.

“The aluminium industry will be very important as Malaysia become a developed nation.”

Now that we have these upstream facilities we also want to start downstream operations in Sarawak, with the opportunity to create many jobs from our investment alone because it is labour-intensive.

“Now we have the opportunity, with investment, to build the industry for the state. I believe it is very timely.

Whoever is going to be investing they will be in a good position because industry in Sarawak is really coming up. What the government is doing is absolutely correct.”

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

Forged and shaped in Malaysia, Press Metal has blazed a trail for home-bred companies by investing in Sarawak’s key industrial zone. Its founder talks about the values that have made the company successful.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Forged and shaped in Malaysia, Press Metal has blazed a trail for home-bred companies by investing in Sarawak’s key industrial zone. Its founder talks about the values that have made the company successful.

In 25 years, Press Metal has grown from a small family business into one of the region’s biggest suppliers of aluminium. Growing in tandem with the company is the integrity and trust borne out of the family values that made the company successful in the first place.

And that is the message Press Metal would like to send to potential investors from the Middle East. Dato’ Paul P. K. Koon, CEO and founder of Press Metal, said the company’s business ideals are based on trust and long-term partnerships – traits that would take the industry in Malaysia forward.

“Maintaining integrity is key for us and it has helped us so far,” Dato’ Paul said. “We believe business is long term. When people look at Press Metal, they see a company they can trust so that there is a basis for further discussion, whether it is about business or investment. We don’t just come and go. Whatever we promise, we deliver. We don’t over-promise but we deliver whatever we have committed.”

Press Metal, which now has a presence in the United States, Europe and East Asia, is one of two companies in Southeast Asia to operate an aluminium smelter. They own a 120,000 tonne annual capacity plant in Mukah, Sarawak and are building a new facility in the Samalaju Industrial Park in Sarawak’s fast-developing Bintulu district that will add another 240,000 tonnes once completed in 2013.

The company owns another smelter in China that produces 90,000 tonnes of aluminium a year. Although headquartered in peninsular Malaysia, Press Metal is an integral part of major infrastructural and economic developments taking place in Sarawak, Malaysia’s largest state.

As a public listed company, Press Metal is open to investment either through the equity market or through formal partnerships. Japanese conglomerate Sumitomo Corp has a 20 per cent interest in Press Metal’s Sarawak operations after a deal in 2010 for its investment in the aluminium business.

Malaysia is currently a net importer of aluminium. But as the country gradually catches up to developed nations in terms of consumption, Press Metal expects its higher production capacity would enable the company to fulfil all domestic demand for the metal without the need to import.

Sumitomo invested in Press Metal’s Sarawak operations on the prospect of eventual Malaysian self-sufficiency in aluminium, and Dato’ Paul says potential investors from the Middle East are welcome.

“We are always open to explore further partnership opportunities,” said Dato’ Paul. “With big investors, we can grow the business and handle bigger projects.” He also had some words of advice for Middle Eastern interests looking to move into Sarawak – spend time and make an effort to understand the local culture.

“Adapting to the Malaysian culture will take a bit of time,” said Dato’ Paul. “This is important because we want a long-term partnership. There has to be trust.”

However, Dato’ Paul said that once a relationship has been established the business benefits of the partnership will manifest for both parties because of the potential for expansion throughout Southeast Asia.

“Malaysia can be a stepping stone for Indonesia, Vietnam and other places where there are a lot of mining opportunities,” said Dato’ Paul. “Many people are unfamiliar with doing business in these countries. But we speak the same language (in Indonesia) and share similar business cultures so we have the advantage. There are a lot of spin-off opportunities. There are plenty of resources that other countries would like to invest in.”

Dato’ Paul said that Press Metal has encountered overseas companies wanting to do business in places such as Indonesia but they are unsure of the business environment.

“We have the experience in these places so they seek us out and are willing to come together with us to explore the opportunities,” he said.

Press Metal started as a downstream aluminium player but since they started production in the last decade, the company has focused on upstream activities. However, Dato’ Paul said the company is eager to expand into more downstream businesses to support its production capabilities.

“The aluminium industry will be very important as Malaysia become a developed nation.”

Now that we have these upstream facilities we also want to start downstream operations in Sarawak, with the opportunity to create many jobs from our investment alone because it is labour-intensive.

“Now we have the opportunity, with investment, to build the industry for the state. I believe it is very timely.

Whoever is going to be investing they will be in a good position because industry in Sarawak is really coming up. What the government is doing is absolutely correct.”

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