December 4, 2012
KLK: An Oil Palm and Rubber Industry Giant
Kuala Lumpur Kepong, Bhd., simply known as KLK, has seen a long line of predecessors and an equally long history before reaching the name and status the company now enjoys. KLK does business in plantations, manufacturing, property and retailing. It is currently led by Chairman R.M. Alias, CEO Tan Sri Dato Seri Lee Oi Hian and has some 25,000 employees working for the company in multiple locations.
Founded in London as The Kuala Lumpur Rubber Company, Ltd. in 1906 as a corporation to oversee the rubber and coffee plantations in Malaysia, the company later changed its name to Kuala Lumpur-Kepong Amalgamated, Ltd. as it entered the palm oil industry. It was under this name that the company opened its first mill in 1967, the Fraser Mill, and a main office in Kuala Lumpur was opened.
In the 1970’s, the company once again changed its name to Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad as ownership and leadership were incorporated in Malaysia. Around this time, headquarters transferred from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur Kepong, Bhd. currently oversees business in more than 250,000 hectares of plantations in both Malaysia and Indonesia, producing fresh fruit, and using its own refineries and mills to produce crude palm oil, palm oil products and rubber. Peninsular Malaysia is where the majority of KLK’s plantations are located, with smaller ones in Sabah and Indonesia.
The main division of KLK is KLK Oleo, one of the major pal oil and palm oil products producers worldwide. Under KLK Oleo are nine companies in Malaysia, China and Germany, all responsible for making and distributing palm oil-based products. Aside from these, KLK owns several subsidiaries and has interests in residential property development in Malaysia. Crabtree & Evelyn, a popular brand that retails toiletries and personal care items, is also working with KLK. KLK continues to lead the way in this specialized industry, putting Malaysia on the map for palm oil and rubber production.