KUALA LUMPUR: Widad Business Group (WBG), has offered to buy the PLUS Expressways Bhd concessionaires by taking over 51% of the concessionaires owned by Khazanah Nasional Bhd for RM1.5bil in cash consideration, or 100% of the concessionaires owned by Khazanah and Employees’ Provident Fund’s (EPF) for RM3bil in cash consideration.
In a statement Tuesday, Widad said the takeover proposal has been submitted to the Prime Minister, Works Ministry and Economic Affairs Ministry on Oct 9, 2019.
“In the event that WBG successfully takes over the concessionaires, the group will reduce the current toll charges by 25% to 40%. This is in line with the Government’s manifesto to reduce
the burden of the rakyat, which we fully support,” WBG executive chairman Tan Sri Muhammad Ikmal Opat Abdullah said in the statement.
“We also intend to help the Government by waiving the outstanding compensation of the Government to PLUS worth RM338.5mil as of Dec 31, 2018,” he added.
Widad is an integrated facility management and construction conglomerate.
The highways that are involved in the concessionaires of PLUS Expressways Bhd are as follows:
PLUS Highway (PLUS)
Second Link Expressway (LINKEDUA)
North South Expressway Central Link (ELITE)
Butterworth Kulim Expressway (KLBK)
Seremban-Port Dickson Highway (SPDH)
WBG said it offered two options in their offer – the first being a 51% takeover of the concessionaires owned by Khazanah’s for RM1.5bil in cash consideration, where the remaining 49% will be public shareholding owned by EPF; and the second being a full takeover of the concessionaires owned by Khazanah and EPF’s for RM3bil in cash consideration.
Both offers include the waiver of toll compensation worth RM 2.7bil incurred by the Government for the abolishment of tolls in Plaza Batu Tiga and Bukit Kayu Hitam.
WBG said the options above also took into account the extension of the highway concessionaires for another 20 years after the conclusion of the concession period.
“The group has identified its global strategic partner/investor to fund the proposed acquisition, coupled with the group’s internal funds and its fundraising plan via sukuk MTN and equity issuance.
“The highway will be run on an entrepreneur basis to optimise efficiency while preserving road safety and quality for the public at large,” WBG said.
Muhammad Ikmal said the group had also proposed to give a 50% discount for toll fares during festive seasons such as Hari Raya, Chinese New Year and Deepavali for as long as the Group deems reasonable.
“We will also work to refurbish the involved highway rest stops and implement new artificial intelligence technology to improve highway and traffic management with the additional promise of not making any retrenchment of staff for at least 5 years after the takeover,” he added.