Khazanah, EPF say yet to be engaged by Putrajaya on PLUS sale

A view of the traffic on the PLUS Expressway near Sungai Buloh February 2, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara
A view of the traffic on the PLUS Expressway near Sungai Buloh February 2, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 — Khazanah Nasional Bhd and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), the owners of PLUS Malaysia Bhd, have not been formally engaged by the government on the sale of the highway concessionaire although the government has reportedly received takeover offers from several companies.

Khazanah managing director Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said 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 EPF.

“And that part has never started,” he told reporters on the sidelines of Bank Kerjasama Rakyat Malaysia Bhd’s (Bank Rakyat) Integrity Forum 2020 here today.

Khazanah, the country’s sovereign wealth fund owns 51 per cent of PLUS via its subsidiary UEM Group Bhd, while the remaining 49 per cent is owned by EPF.

Meanwhile, Shahril Ridza also said that Khazanah and EPF had never put up the assets for sale, and there was no bidding process going on.

“When we talk about the offers coming in, that is a bit mistaken because there is no bidding process and no bidders per se.

“These are all unsolicited offers which were made to the government rather than to the current shareholders, and we are not engaged in the process of selling the assets,” he said.

Asked what would happen to Khazanah and EPF if the government decided to sell PLUS to a third party, Shahril Ridza said the most important thing was to make sure the value of the assets was protected.

“This is why we did not entertain any of the previous offers because, to be honest, the offers undervalued the assets.”

However, he was delighted that the valuation done by the government via an independent investment bank was in line with the current value of PLUS.

“I am very happy to note that, basically, we think that the valuation has been validated now by the independent bankers, both from the part of our side and the government side,” he said.

Moving forward, Shahril Ridza said 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.

Yesterday, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the Cabinet would discuss the proposed takeover of PLUS and Gamuda Bhd’s four highways in the Klang Valley during its meeting tomorrow, with an announcement on the matter to be made after the Cabinet meeting. — Bernama

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