PETALING JAYA: Khazanah Nasional Bhd has reiterated that it is not interested in selling its 51% stake in PLUS Malaysia Bhd highways, even as the interested private-sector suitors continue to raise their bids.
“We are not in the mood to sell the asset and actually haven’t got any kind of bidding process going on, ” Khazanah’s managing director Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said yesterday on the sidelines of Permodalan Nasional Bhd’s Corporate Summit 2019.
“I don’t think our stand has changed. I haven’t seen their (referring to Widad Business Group or WBG’s) latest proposal, to be fair. But our stand hasn’t changed, ” he added.
WBG had yesterday made a new offer for PLUS, which makes it the highest bidder so far for the highway, which is also known as the North-South Expressway.
WBG increased its offer for PLUS with a new proposal to acquire a 100% equity interest in the company for RM5.3bil.
Including the compensation waiver of RM3.04bil and debt assumption of RM30bil, the total enterprise value of the offer comes to RM38.34bil.
The offer from WBG represents the highest bid from the private sector thus far, beating all other potential suitors.
According to WBG, the revised offer also includes the waiver of the RM11bil sukuk guarantee by the government, and a new option for the government to buy back PLUS Malaysia after 10 years based on market valuation.
The new offer by the company is a follow-up from its Oct 9 proposal to purchase a 51% stake in PLUS Expressways’ concessionaires for RM1.5bil cash or 100% of the concessionaires owned by Khazanah and the Employees Provident Fund for RM3bil in cash.
It comes in response to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s comments on Oct 22 that the offers by the private sector had not been attractive enough and did not reflect the bright prospects for PLUS Malaysia.
“After some deliberation, we have come up with an upgraded offer that better reflects the bright prospects of this company, and a takeover plan that can help further reduce the financial burden of the government, as well as provide much-needed savings and convenience to the rakyat when using our roads, ” said WBG group executive chairman Tan Sri Muhammad Ikmal Opat Abdullah in a statement.
WBG said it made its presentation to the Works Ministry yesterday, listing also a few commitments for the PLUS takeover.
For toll rates, WBG has proposed two different mechanisms, the first is a 25% to 40% reduction that will be passed on to road users through direct toll discounts.
Did you find this article insightful?