KUALA LUMPUR: Gamuda Bhd said any sale of its highway concessions would be done at a fair market value and said a speculated enterprise value of RM5.2bil for these concessions as reported in a business weekly over the weekend was “incorrect”.
The company also confirmed it is currently still in talks with the government on a proposal that involves keeping the current toll rates unchanged with no further increases.
Gamuda said in a statement yesterday that this would also involve a short concession extension in order to fully recuse the government from paying any compensation.
“As (it) is legally required of them as per the current concession agreements for keeping the toll rates as they currently are, for the entire proposal period, ” the company said.
“In our proposal, the government would have no stake nor interest in the buying entity, and therefore need not spend any of its own monies in the acquisition and further, need not provide any government guarantee, ” the company added.
Gamuda said its latest proposal to the government would see the sale of highway concessions to an independent entity funded entirely by private debt capital markets.
It also said Bursa Malaysia Securities will be updated once it has a definitive decision regarding this proposal and all of its salient details from the government.
“Until then, we are unable to comment further as we are still in talks with the government, ” the company said.
In an earlier related development, Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof had at the end of April announced that toll hikes for all highway concessionaires for this year shall be postponed to at least 2022.
Pursuant to this, the government would have to pay RM2.25bil in compensation as a result.
It was reported earlier that the government had reviewed its initial rejection of Gamuda’s proposal to take over its four highways.
The initial decision by the government was not to proceed with an acquisition of these highways because of concerns of a bigger financial burden to the government.
Gamuda owns 70% of the Shah Alam Expressway or the Kesas highway, 43.2% of Lingkaran Trans Kota Holdings Bhd (which has a stake in the Damansara Puchong Highway or LDP and the Western KL Traffic Dispersial System or SPRINT Highway).
Gamuda also has its own direct 30% stakes in the SPRINT Highway and it also owns 50% in the Stormwater Management And Road Tunnel (Smart Tunnel).