Ekovest to complete Duke stake disposal by first quarter 2017

  • Business
  • Tuesday, 08 Nov 2016

A file pic of the DUKE Highway.

KUALA LUMPUR: Ekovest Bhd expects to complete the sale of 40% stake in concession highway Duta-Hulu Kelang Expressway (Duke) to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) for RM1.13bil byt he first quarter of next year, says managing director Datuk Seri Lim Keng Cheng.

To that end, Ekovest on Tuesday signed a conditional agreement with the EPF for the sale of 40% stake in Duke phase 1 and 2.

When the agreement is concluded, the EPF will first pay RM921mil in cash to Ekovest, followed by a further RM60mil after Duke phase 2 is completed. And once the re-agreed targeted returns are achieved, the EPF will pay the balance RM149mil to Ekovest.

“The proposed disposal is in line with the company’s strategy to monetise its mature infrastructure assets to free up its financial resources for the expansion of its infrastructure division and other core businesses such as construction and property development,” said Ekovest chairman Tan Sri Lim Kang Hoo after the signing ceremony.

Ekovest said it would distribute RM245mil of the sale proceeds to its shareholders, RM400mil for repayment of borrowings and RM485mil for working capital.

Separately, EPF deputy chief executive officer for investment Datuk Mohamad Nasir Ab Latif said among the pension fund’s investment criteria for infrastructure assets included strong regulatory framework and operational background as well as mature and cash generating assets.

He said the EPF has allocated 10% of its RM682bil fund to invest in private equity, property and infrastructure assets.

“About 3% of our fund size has been allocated for infrastructure such as ports, power plants and toll highways,” Mohamad Nasir said.
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