Tycoon Makes Biggest Bid of RM5.2B for PLUS

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It is reported that Halim Saad and another businessman Wong Gian Kui have made an offer of RM5.2 billion for Khazanah Nasional Bhd 51% stake in PLUS.

It is the most money Khazanah has been offered so far for its share in the highway concessionaire

Halim is the former boss of Renong Group which built the PLUS Highway.

Halim and Wong expressed their interest in buying PLUS in a letter dated October 11 to Works Minister Baru Bian.

“The new PMB will offer a 25% discount on toll rates. The concession period will remain the same and will end in December 2038,” the letter said.

There are three other offers from private companies for PLUS.

Maju Holdings Sdn Bhd has offered RM34.9 billion, including debts.

Private equity fund RJR Capital has offered RM3.5 billion cash, including PLUS’ liabilities.

Last week, Bumiputera construction giant Widad Business Group offered to buy PLUS Expressways Bhd concessionaires by taking over the 51% stake owned by Khazanah for an RM1.5 billion cash consideration, or 100% of the concessionaires owned by Khazanah and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) for RM3 billion cash.

The group also promised to reduce toll rates between 25% and 40%.

Earlier this week Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the government was considering taking over PLUS.

Khazanah had proposed to sell its 51% stake in PLUS to the government as the sovereign wealth fund was concerned about the “diminishing of assets” if the concessionaire were to be sold to private parties, Lim said.

Lim said offers to take over the toll concessionaire would be evaluated for “zero impact on the government’s debt service charges”.

Next year will see toll reduced by 18% on all PLUS highways, as announced by the finance minister on budget day. This amounts to RM1.13 billion in savings for road users next year, and up to RM43 billion for the remainder of the concession period until 2038.

The highways involved in the concessionaires of PLUS Expressways Bhd are PLUS Highway, Second Link Expressway, Penang Bridge, North South Expressway Central Link, Butterworth Kulim Expressway and Seremban-Port Dickson Highway.