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Widad Business Group revises upwards offer for PLUS

KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 30): Widad Business Group Sdn Bhd (WBG), an integrated facility management and construction conglomerate, revised upwards its offer for PLUS Malaysia Bhd in a presentation to the Works Ministry yesterday.

WBG said in a statement that it was now proposing to acquire 100% equity interest in PLUS for RM5.3 billion in cash consideration, in addition to the compensation waiver of RM3.038 billion and debt assumption of RM30 billion, bringing the total enterprise value of the offer to RM38.338 billion.

“The revised offer by WBG also contains two more additional clauses, namely waiver of the RM11 billion sukuk guarantee by the government, and a new option for the government to buy back PLUS after 10 years based on market valuation,” it added.

It said this latest offer of RM38.338 billion, including debt by WBG, is currently the highest bid from the private sector.

According to news reports, the government had received three acquisition proposals for PLUS from the private sector.

Maju Holdings Sdn Bhd had bid for PLUS at an enterprise value of RM34.9 billion including debts, while the other two proposals came from private equity fund RJR Capital and Tan Sri Halim Saad for RM3.5 billion and RM5.2 billion respectively.

WBG Group executive chairman Tan Sri Muhammad Ikmal Opat Abdullah said: “We have heard Prime Minster Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s comments about not yet finding an attractive enough offer for PLUS.

“After some deliberation, we have come up with an upgraded offer that better reflects the bright prospects of this company and a takeover plan that can help further reduce the financial burden of the government, as well as provide much needed savings and convenience to the people when using our roads.”

In the proposal submitted to the Works Minister, WBG had listed a few commitments for the PLUS takeover, such as for toll rates.

It also proposed two different mechanisms, a first 25% to 40% reduction pass on to road users via direct toll discounts, or toll reduction of 18% direct to road users and the balance of 7-22% reduction to be channelled to the government for the welfare of targeted groups.

On top of that, 50% toll discounts will also be given out during major national festivities in Malaysia such as Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, Chinese New Year and Deepavali.

On Oct 9, 2019, WBG had initially proposed to the government to buy PLUS Expressways Bhd concessionaires by taking over 51% of the concessionaires owned by Khazanah Nasional Bhd for RM1.5 billion in cash consideration, or 100% of the concessionaires owned by Khazanah Nasional Bhd and the Employees Provident Fund for RM3 billion in cash consideration.

Widad Business Group owns 65% of Widad Group Bhd and 63% of Dataprep Holdings Bhd, which are two listed entities on Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd.

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