PLUS to issue RM30.6bil sukuk this week

PETALING JAYA: Projek Lebuhraya Usahasama Bhd’s (PLUS) RM30.6bil sukuk is scheduled to be issued on Jan 12.

This follows the privatisation of PLUS Expressways Bhd (PEB) – one of Malaysia’s largest privatisation exercises – and the restructuring of the toll concessions under PEB and Penang Bridge Sdn Bhd (PBSB).

In a statement issued yesterday, PLUS said the concession agreements of these highways would be novated to PLUS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PLUS Malaysia Sdn Bhd. The latter is the investment vehicle of UEM Group Bhd (51%) and Employees Provident Fund (49%).

The proceeds from the sukuk issuance will be utilised to part-finance the purchase of assets, liabilities, businesses, undertakings and rights of five toll concessions – Projek Lebuhraya Utara-Selatan Bhd, Expressway Lingkaran Tengah Sdn Bhd, Konsortium Lebuhraya Butterworth-Kulim Sdn Bhd, Linkedua (Malaysia) Bhd and PBSB. The proceeds will also be utilised to fund capital expenditure, working capital and other general funding requirements.

PLUS had successfully raised the required long-term financing via the establishment of up to RM34.35bil nominal value Islamic medium term notes programmes within a compressed timeline notwithstanding the magnitude of the issuance size.

The repayment profile of the sukuk ranges from five to 27 years and the weighted average yield is 5%.

The sukuk was accorded the highest long-term rating of AAA(IS) by Malaysian Rating Corp Bhd, reflecting the strong credit strength of PLUS and its importance to the Government.

A signing ceremony was held last Friday to commemorate the establishment and issuance of the sukuk. The signatories were UEM group managing director/chief executive officer Datuk Izzaddin Idris, and EPF deputy chief executive officer (investment) Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan.

Other signatories included CIMB Group chief executive Datuk Seri Nazir Razak. CIMB Investment Bank Bhd was appointed the financial adviser, sole principal adviser, sole lead arranger and joint lead manager for the transaction.

Representing other joint lead managers of the transaction were AmInvestment Bank Bhd CEO Kok Tuck Cheong, Maybank Group president and CEO Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar and officer-in-charge of RHB Investment Bank, Mike Chan.

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