Tycoon Halim Saad makes biggest bid for PLUS

(FMT) – Tycoon Halim Saad has made the highest bid to acquire the entire stake of Khazanah Nasional in highway concessionnaire PLUS Malaysia Berhad, according to reports citing a letter by the former boss of Renong Group which built the PLUS highway.

The Oct 11 letter addressed to Works Minister Baru Bian said Halim and prominent businessman Wong Gian Kui are making an offer of RM5.2 billion for Khazanah’s 51% stake.

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

The tycoon has confirmed making the bid to business daily The Malaysian Reserve.

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 a 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%.

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.

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had said the government would study any proposal to acquire PLUS if it met the country’s demands.

It was reported that a Malaysian-led Hong Kong-based private equity firm, RRJ Capital, had also expressed interest in acquiring the company for RM3.5 billion.