KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15 — Sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd today sought to clarify news reports concerning a potential takeover of highway concessionaires to reduce toll fees on five expressways nationwide for highway users.
In a statement, Khazanah, which holds a 51 per cent stake in the highway concessionaire via UEM Group Bhd, confirmed the government has been engaging with PLUS Malaysia Bhd shareholders, but that it is also aware of several unsolicited offers for a takeover “although the parties concerned have not directly engaged with us”.
“We have provided advice and viewpoints to the government and have engaged with it to assist in determining policy considerations towards achieving the objectives stated above,” it said.
Khazanah emphasised that throughout the entire engagement process, the government has been thoroughly professional and upheld the appropriate governance in striving for the best resolution to the matter.
Yesterday, Khazanah managing director Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said that from a governance point of view, any decision on the sale of assets had to be done properly through formal engagement with the current shareholders, that is Khazanah and Employees Provident Fund (EPF).
Shahril pointed out that neither Khazanah nor EPF has put PLUS up for sale while adding that both Khazanah and the government are on the same page when it comes to PLUS’ valuation.
Shahril said the PLUS owners would wait for the policy decision to be made by the government via the Cabinet before they could take the issue any further.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said earlier this week that the Cabinet will discuss the proposed takeover of PLUS and Gamuda Bhd’s four highways in the Klang Valley during its meeting today, with an announcement on the matter to be made after the meeting.