KUALA LUMPUR – Widad Business Group (WBG) has made a proposal to buy the PLUS Expressways Berhad’s concessionaires by taking over 51 percent of Khazanah Nasional Bhd’s shares for RM1.5 billion in cash consideration, or 100% of Khazanah and Employees Provident Fund’s (EPF) shares for RM3 billion in cash consideration.
The highways that are involved in the concessionaires of PLUS Expressways are:
i. The PLUS North South Highway
ii. Second Link Expressway (LINKEDUA)
iii. Penang Bridge
iv. North South Expressway Central Link (ELITE)
v. Butterworth Kulim Expressway (BKE)
vi. Seremban-Port Dickson Highway (SPDH)
In a statement today, WBG said that the proposal on the takeover has been submitted to the Prime Minister, Ministry of Works and Ministry of Economic Affairs on 9 October 2019.
According to WBG, the company has offered two options in their proposal, where, the first being a 51% takeover of Khazanah’s shares for RM1.5 billion in cash consideration, where the remaining 49% will be public shareholding owned by the Employees Provident Fund (EPF). The second option was a full takeover of Khazanah and EPF’s shares for RM3 billion in cash consideration.
Both offers include the waiver of toll compensation worth RM 2.7 billion incurred by the Government for the abolishment of tolls in Plaza Batu Tiga and Bukit Kayu Hitam.
WBG also said that the options also took into account the extension of the highway concessionaires for another 20 years after the conclusion of the concession period.
WBG has also identified its global strategic partner/investor to fund the proposed acquisition, coupled with the group’s internal funds and its fundraising plan via sukuk MTN and equity issuance.
WBG’s Group Executive Chairman, Tan Sri Muhammad Ikmal Opat Abdullah said, the company will reduce the toll rate between 25 and 40 percent from the existing rate if the takeover is successful.
“This is in line with the Government’s manifesto to reduce the burden of the rakyat, which we fully support.
“We also intend to help the Government by waiving the outstanding compensation of the Government to PLUS worth RM338.5mil as of Dec 31, 2018,” he said in a statement.
According to him, WBG also propose to provide a 50 percent discount on toll faresduring festive seasons, such as Hari Raya, Chinese New Year and Deepavali in a period the group deems reasonable.
“We will also work to refurbish the involved highway rest stops and implement new artificial intelligence technology to improve highway and traffic management with the additional promise of not making any retrenchment of staff for at least five years after the takeover,” he said.
Muhammad Ikmal Opat Abdullah is also the founder of WBG which has provided job opportunities for over 1,500 people nationwide. -MalaysiaGazette