PM: Khazanah best to mitigate PLUS' financial woes
The government is finding the best solution to resolve the financial problems faced by PLUS Malaysia Bhd, said Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He said the best choice so far is for sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd, which is the major shareholder in PLUS, to manage the toll concessionaire in its debt management.
“We will see which is the best solution. If Khazanah manages (PLUS), OK, it could resolve the debt issue,” he said in a press conference with the Malaysian media in conjunction with the Asean Summit in Bangkok, today.
Khazanah managing director Shahril Ridza Ridzuan had said the wealth fund will not be selling its stake in PLUS, which is Malaysia's biggest toll concessionaire.
Khazanah owns a 51 per cent stake in PLUS, while the rest is held by the Employees’ Provident Fund.
However, the prime minister said the government was prepared to let go of PLUS if there were a party willing to pay a high price to acquire it and assume its debt.
“If there are offers by other people to take over debts of up to RM30 billion, then it’s a good thing. For the government, we will talk with Khazanah,” he said.
Last week, integrated facility management and construction conglomerate Widad Business Group Sdn Bhd had upped its offer to acquire a 100 per cent equity in PLUS from RM3 billion earlier to RM5.3 billion.
The offer included a compensation waiver of RM3.04 billion and a debt assumption of RM30 billion, bringing the enterprise value of the offer to RM38.34 billion.
This is reportedly the highest bid from the private sector so far.