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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 20): Hong Seng Consolidated Bhd (formerly MSCM Holdings Bhd) has acquired a 51% stake in Pantasniaga Sdn Bhd, a supplier of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test kits for COVID-19 with the know-how and experience to build test labs for the COVID-19 test screening samples.

Pantasniaga recently secured letters of offer to supply PCR test kits for COVID-19 to the Malaysian government and/or its related agencies, Hong Seng said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia.

The company said its wholly-owned subsidiary, HS Bio Supplies Sdn Bhd, inked an agreement today to buy the stake in loss-making Pantasniaga for RM51.

Pantasniaga posted an audited after-tax loss of RM55.76 million for the financial year ended March 31, 2019. It had net assets of RM41.66 million in the same year.

In a press statement, Hong Seng executive director Kenny Khow, who is also a director of HS Bio, said Pantasniaga had already fulfilled a few supply contracts for Malaysian government agencies.

Pantasniaga had received letters of offer and secured a supply contract of about RM25 million from a Malaysian government agency to curb the immediate crisis in Sabah, he said.

"The company expects similar contracts in the near future as each batch has exhausted quickly due to intense testing being carried out in hotspots like Sabah," he added.

Khow said at the same time, the group would continue to engage with government agencies for the procurement of supplies or building of test labs to supplement the PCR test kits which had already been approved and registered with Malaysian authorities.

Hong Seng, a marketing and information technology solutions provider, diversified into the manufacture and trading of gloves and other personal protective equipment earlier this year.

The company said that HS Bio, in an effort to undertake comprehensive end-to-end healthcare, had collaborated with the Malaysian Medical Association-linked eMedAsia Sdn Bhd in the digitalisation of private healthcare.

"It is also in progress to be the distributor for empirically proven supplements and COVID-19 vaccines from China through its consortium agreement with Royce Pharma, which is one of the oldest and established local pharmaceutical companies in Malaysia," Hong Seng added.