PETALING JAYA: DRB-Hicom Bhd has quashed reports that it intends to sell all of Proton Holdings Bhd.
“DRB-Hicom wishes to deny the statement suggesting it may dispose of all of its stake in Proton.
“DRB-Hicom remains highly committed to hold a substantial and strategic stake in Proton and is confident of and is currently assisting Proton in its turnaround programme,” DRB-Hicom said in a stock exchange filing Monday.
Reports by several media organisations over the last few days suggested that DRB-Hicom was preparing or willing to sell off Proton entirely, as it struggles to make profits.
“It must be highlighted that as part of the requirement of the RM1.5 billion loan granted by the government, Proton is currently undertaking an RFP (Request For Proposal) exercise seeking a partner to (sic) Proton who can provide a strategic, operational and cultural fit on a permanent basis with the intention to grow its automotive business.”
The exercise is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2017.
According to DRB-Hicom the RFP implementation is being overseen by the Task Force Committee formed by the government to monitor the turnaround of Proton.
The Sun reported that it had earlier been speculated that DRB-Hicom was expecting up to seven bids to purchase part or all of Proton.
Automakers which have reportedly shown an interest include Volkswagen AG and General Motors Co, and Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd.
The group’s shares rose 5 sen or 4.5% to close at RM1.16 Monday, with some 19.5 million shares changing hands.