DRB-Hicom Bhd’s unit, Proton Edar Sdn Bhd (PESB), has entered into a joint-venture agreement with Altel Communications Sdn Bhd and China-based Ecarx (Hubei) Technology Co Ltd to form a joint-venture (JV) company in Malaysia, that will provide research and development, sales and services of vehicle connectivity, digital cockpit, safety, autonomous vehicle and Internet of Things (IoT) technology-related products.
PESB is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Proton Marketing Sdn Bhd, which is in turn a fully-held unit of Proton Holdings Bhd. DRB-Hicom holds 50.1% of Proton Holdings.
Under the proposed shareholding structure of the JV firm, PESB will hold 60% of the company and contribute RM3.6 million in capital while Altel will own 30% and contribute RM1.8 million.
Ecarx will hold the remaining 10% in the company and contribute RM600,000, a DRB-Hicom filing with the exchange yesterday noted.
PESB proposes to fund its capital contribution in the JV unit from internally generated funds. The JV company will have three board members from PESB and one each from Ecarx and Altel, while the CEO will be appointed by its board.
DRB-Hicom noted the proposed JV, which is expected to contribute positively to its future earnings, is beneficial to the Proton Holdings group in gaining the technological know-how in high digital technology products and services relating to the automotive industry.
It will also create opportunities for Proton Holdings to establish a car connectivity research and development (R&D) centre in Malaysia for future products enhancement suited to the local and regional ecosystem, as well as for export countries with better and higher standard of services.