PETALING JAYA: Khazanah Nasional Bhd has confirmed that Tan Sri Halim Saad was indeed suing it, confirming a StarBiz report earlier.
In a short statement released yesterday, the sovereign wealth fund said it had received a Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim from the legal representatives of Halim.
“We believe that we have a strong defence to the claim, and shall be taking all measures necessary to vigorously defend it in order to protect our interest,” it said.
In a StarBiz report yesterday, Halim alleged that he had not been paid the agreed RM1.3bil and given the tracts of land that had been agreed upon in a 2001 deal.
He alleged that he was told not to exercise the “put option” but sell his shares to Khazanah instead.
Halim, the former majority owner and executive chairman of Renong Bhd, filed a legal suit in April against those he claimed had forced him to sell his shares in the company.
To recap, Renong, Malaysia’s biggest conglomerate at one point of time, held a substantial stake in UEM, and in 1997, UEM announced that it had bought a 32.6% block of shares in Renong. However, this did not go down well with the investing public.
To appease the market, Halim had, in 1998, offered to buy the Renong shares from UEM by way of a “put option”.
The option price for the “put” was RM3.2bil, which he was to pay in four instalments: three in RM100mil instalments and the balance with interest on Feb 14, 2001, when the option was due.
Halim was reported to have paid the first RM100mil but could not pay up the second when it was due, which was when Khazanah took over. The sovereign wealth fund took UEM private in 2001 and later cancelled the option.
Halim resigned from the Renong/UEM group in October 2001.
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