No one contacted Khazanah on PLUS takeover, says source

Khazanah Nasional and EPF have reportedly opposed a proposal for the takeover of highway concessionaire PLUS Malaysia.

PETALING JAYA: Reports of a proposed takeover of highway operator PLUS Malaysia Bhd have been met with concern by its majority shareholder Khazanah Malaysia, a source in the government investment arm said.

The source said the sovereign wealth fund was not directly engaged by those interested in taking over the company.

“In any business transaction, a buyer should approach the seller and make a proper offer. This should be no different,” said the source who wished to remain anonymous.

“But, to date Khazanah has not heard directly from any party interested to take over PLUS. They should have approached Khazanah directly.”

Without being directly engaged, Khazanah would not be in a position to evaluate proposals, the source added.

“For instance, news that one of the companies is being engaged in legal action with its own bondholders may result in adverse public reaction.”

Khazanah’s subsidiary UEM holds a 51% stake in PLUS, while the other 49% is owned by the Employees Provident Fund (EPF).

Last month, Works Minister Baru Bian said Putrajaya had yet to make a decision on any proposals related to the takeover of highway tolls.

FMT’s attempts to obtain comments from Baru has so far been unsuccessful. FMT has also reached out to Khazanah and EPF.

In July, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the ministry had made a preliminary decision to oppose the takeover of PLUS after taking into account Khazanah and EPF’s views.