Khazanah adamant not selling PLUS as Widad raises offer

The sovereign wealth fund has not opened up any bidding process for PLUS, says Khazanah MD

by RAHIMI YUNUS/ pic by TMR

KHAZANAH Nasional Bhd remains adamant with its position of not selling PLUS Malaysia Bhd despite various “bids” received and upgraded offers by several parties.

MD Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said the sovereign wealth fund has not opened up any bidding process for PLUS.

“We are not in the mood of actually selling the asset (PLUS) and actually, we have not got any kind of bidding process going on,” Shahril Ridza said at the Permodalan Nasional Bhd’s inaugural Corporate Summit 2019 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

He was responding to questions about Widad Business Group Sdn Bhd’s revised proposal, which the company raised its offer by 77% from RM3 billion to RM5.3 billion for the total shareholding in PLUS.

Widad also included a compensation waiver of RM3.04 billion and debt assumption of RM30 billion, bringing the total enterprise value to RM38.3 billion.

Still, Shahril Ridza reiterated that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s remarks indicated that the offers by the private sector for PLUS are not attractive thus far.

“I do not think our stand has changed. I have not seen their latest proposal, to be fair, but our stand basis has not changed,” he said.

The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) previously reported that Tan Sri Halim Saad, the former executive chairman of Renong Bhd, has submitted the bid to buy Khazanah’s 51% stake in PLUS for RM5.2 billion, according to an offer letter dated Oct 11, 2019.

Halim has also proposed a 25% discount on toll rates and for the concession period to end as per status quo — December 2038.

A Hong Kong-based private-equity firm RRJ Capital also made a RM3.5 billion bid to acquire the country’s largest tolled highway concession holder.

The company offered toll discounts of up to 30% based on new cars’ price tags and plans to demolish toll booths to ease traffic congestion.

Maju Holdings Sdn Bhd has revised its bid by including greater toll discounts of up to 36% and forgoing the RM2.7 billion owed by the government to PLUS.

PLUS concessionaires are the North-South Expressway, Second Link Expressway, Penang Bridge, North-South Expressway Central Link, Butterworth-Kulim Expressway and Seremban-Port Dickson Highway.