Like bees to a honey pot, suitors are circling Plus Malaysia Bhd, the holding company of an array of toll road concessions, indicating there is much in this company which is valued at over RM30 billion in terms of assets.
On top of that large amount of assets, there is intrigue swirling around the suitors, which has given rise to various stories and speculations. One of them is Maju Holdings’ Abu Sahid Mohamed, known to be close to the prime minister.
The other involves Hong Kong private equity firm RRJ Capital owned by the Ong brothers of Malaysia - Richard and Charles - one of whom has done deals before with the PM’s close buddy, associate, and prime advisor Daim Zainuddin, as well as with Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund.
To assess the kind of clout that Abu Sahid has, consider this: it was reported that Dr Mahathir Mohamad was sharp on the dot at 8.30am for Abu Sahid’s Hari Raya open house in July. “Among those present were Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu, Works Minister Baru Bian, deputy ministers, several other senior politicians and a host of top-tier businessmen and bankers,” one report said.
The following month, Baru Bian described Maju Holdings' offer as attractive because it offered good reductions in the toll rate.
Langkah Bahagia owns 51 percent of Vertical Theme, with the remaining 49 percent owned by Duxton Investments Pte Ltd, which represents Temasek Holdings. Vertical Theme owns the largest single stake in Alliance Bank Malaysia, with 29.06 percent. Daim and Temasek were in control of the bank.
Reports put the price of Abu Sahid’s offer for Plus at RM3.5 billion. The offer from RRJ Capital is identical, according to reports after a revision upwards from RM3 billion earlier. Both apparently involve an RM1.5 billion guarantee from the government they will waive, which means the amount of cash they will fork out is about RM2 billion, for which they will get well over RM30 billion of assets.
There is one more suitor at least - the Widad Business Group, which is offering a package worth RM3 billion. It also involves an extension of the toll period.
The other thing about the offers is that there is an extension of the toll concession period - by as much as 20 years, over double the period to the expiry of the toll concessions in 2038. And further, the government guarantee on “some Plus loans” will remain.
Plus is worth well over RM30 billion and it has debts of about RM30 billion. The government’s debt exposure will not reduce because the new owners want government guarantees, same as now. It is undeniably strategic. Its valuation is done on cash flows which are quite definite, giving it a premium.
So, should owners Khazanah Nasional (51 percent) and the EPF (49 percent) - basically you and me - give up the stake to one of those buzzing buzzards... err... bees? Or should they cling to sweetness and perhaps sell only part of our stakes at a more opportune time when the markets are more favourable and valuations are better? The answer is clear as a day without haze.
If the offerors can keep the toll rates flat, as they claim, it’s because the government will double the value of the concession by increasing its time period and still guarantee the loans - what a humbug of a deal for us all who effectively own the concessions through the funds. If you and I get such a deal, we would become billionaires overnight. No kidding!
Here’s how. You pay RM2 billion, assume assets of Plus, say RM32 billion and debts of RM30 billion. But you get twice the concession period, or a further RM32 billion - okay, let’s say the discounted price is half that at RM16 billion because there will no toll increases. Net gain? RM16 billion!
Shahril Ridza Ridzuan
It is heartening to note that Khazanah CEO Shahril Ridza Ridzuan is wise to the deals and did not mince his words. In an interview with TV3 on Oct 6, he said that Khazanah had received multiple offers.
“Our reply to all of them is very simple. We are not interested in selling... what they are doing is they want to take money from us by paying us basically a substandard price and using that difference in value to offer a discount (on toll rates),” Shahril said.
“You should offer the fair market price... if you want to have a discount, then it’s up to you. It should be from your profit, not from us.”
Rather well put by Shahril but that was not enough for his chairperson at Khazanah Nasional Bhd, none other than the prime minister. Recall Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto promise of not making political appointees to the board of government companies and that Mahathir basically appointed himself to that position.
Mahathir indicated that he would like to sell if there is a suitable offer. According to a Bernama report, the prime minister said the government has adopted an open approach to any bidding and would make its decisions based on the country’s needs and suitability.
“Any bid by anyone will be reviewed by the government, if it (the bid) complies with our needs, we will entertain their request,” he told a media conference at the Parliament lobby on Oct 7, tellingly a day after Shahril made his remark.
One can only interpret that as a rebuke by the chairperson to his CEO. Mahathir is exerting his right as chairperson and as the chief representative of the only shareholder of Khazanah Malaysia, the government of Malaysia.
Is that correct behaviour? Does it satisfy even the minimal standards of governance and does it put enough independence between the chairperson and the CEO, where the CEO exercises executive prerogatives and the chairperson, governance matters?
Khazanah, which has evaluated and executed billions upon billions of ringgit worth of deals, has more expertise and experience for valuing deals under its roof than almost any other organisation in the country. If that’s not enough, they can appoint independent, and I mean independent, advisors.
This is not a prime ministerial decision. It is a decision for qualified professionals to make without political interference and cronyism. Making the PM the chairperson of Khazanah highlights exactly the kind of conflict which arises and the dangers of ignoring that part of the Harapan manifesto, something which became manifestly evident during the 1MDB fiasco.
And then there is the EPF - the 49 percent shareholder. How will it react? It’s interesting to note its CEO Tunku Ali Zakri Alias’ reaction to Mahathir’s statement on the afternoon of the same day.
Tunku Ali Zakri said if there is any sensible takeover offer which would benefit its members in terms of returns and dividends, the fund will definitely study and consider the offer. “At this juncture, Plus is an asset that is very positive, it gives really strong returns and it is a well-run organisation.”
When he was asked about what Mahathir had said, he replied that the comment could have been made on behalf of Khazanah. That must indicate that he is prepared to make his own decision as far EPF is concerned.
Bravo to both Shahril and Tunku Ali Zakri for exercising their right to voice their opinions - they are the CEOs of their respective organisations. It’s good that they are clearly indicating that they will neither be bamboozled nor forced into making dubious arrangements which will cost the two funds dearly.
It's good to know too that there are good men out there who will protect the rakyat’s interests against those who connive to get assets cheaply from government and public-owned funds and companies. - P Gunasegaram,mk
Why PLUS should not be sold
Hero2 bani Melayu kantoi...
Selain teresa Kok.. hari ini Nurul Izzah menang saman terhadap ketua Pembangkang, Ismail sabri yakob dan Bekas Ketua Polis Negara Khalid Abu Bakar.. Nurul izzah dapat pamapasan lebih RM 850 Ribu, Bekas Ketua Polis saja kena bayaq RM 400 ribu.. Bayangkan, Bekas IGP pun didapati bersalah mengfitnah..takda sapa terlepas dari kesalahan menuduh..
Apa tuduhan Ismail Sabri dan bekas IGP.. Kononnya Nurul Izzah ada kaitan dengan pengkhianat kepada negara dan perancang pencerobohan Lahad Datu di Sabah pada 2013...Masa tu depa buat modal PRU 13..
Apa bukti depa buat tuduhan masa tu ? Nurul Izzah kononnya adakan pertemuannya dengan puteri Sulu, Jacel Kiram, Kira Puak pemisah Islam di Selatan Filipina..sama mcm puak pemisah PULO dan GAM, masa tu geng UMNO sebarkan gambar disebarkan gambar Anwar dgn Nur Misuari, sedangkan Anwar sejarahnya orang tahu pernah jadi orang tengah perdamaian dan pertikaian disana....
Mcm mana nak faham sapa Nur Misuari dan MNLF ni, Depa ni puak pemisah mcm LTTE dan Prabakaran lah...Masing masing berjuang mahukan hak autonomi, Pemerintahan dan pembebasan etnik depa.. MNLF memperjuangkan bangsa Moro, LTTE bangsa Tamil..
Jamanul Kiram ni disokong serpihan puak pemisah disanalah.. tapi ada orang kata pengganas.. itu hak depa lah nak kata apa..ini sudut pandang politik.. mcm Konflik Turki dan pemisah Kurdish hari ni lah.. Hamas, Hizbullah hatta Yusuf Qaradawi pun Saudi isytihar sebagai Pengganas...
Tu sebab... yang menuduh tu jangan terlalu yakin sangat...tambah tambah kaitan dengan penggaans.. biaq polis buat kerja.. Nanti kena saman...senasib mcm Ismail Sabri dan bekas Ketua Polis Negara.. kalau nak saman sekali Mufti belah utara tu pun elok jugak..
Azwanddin Hero Bani Melayu
Lepas ni giliran Bani Melayu PAS pulak.. Ketua Pemuda PAS Selangor si Syarhan Humaizi.. , Sekarang boleh lah berlakon kononnya nak berjihad pertahankan kebenaran dalam Mahkamah, Macam Azwanddin mula mula dulu jugak...Esok Peguam dah mula soal balas, Lari kut pintu belakang mcm Haji hadi sama mcm kes Sarawak Report..
Apa pun, Fitnah orang tu bukan Jihad, Itu Jahat.. Apa lagi fitnah orang atas nama Agama.. Agama tak suruh fitnah orang..kejahatan sendiri jangan kaitkan dengan Islam.. - f/bk
Saya mau buat pulut ikan kering...
Dari gambar yang ditularkan baik dalam media sosial Anwar sendiri maupun pihak lain, Anwar berjumpa dan bertegur sapa dengan Hishammudin Hussein, minum kopi dengan Azmin Ali, bertepuk tampar dengan Mohamad Sabu, melayan Nik Abduh dan beberapa orang wakil rakyat PAS.
Pagi ini kelihatan Anwar duduk semeja pula dengan Timbalan Presiden PAS Tutuiman. Nampaknya keduanya seronok dan ketawa kegelian. Tentu ada cerita yang mencuit perasaan mereka. Mungkin mengenangkan cara Tok Dor Hadi berpolitik. Mungkin... jangan mare.
Bagi saya, semua gambar dan penampilan Anwar itu tidak "sahih" atau dianggap menarik dan istimewa, selagi beliau tidak dapat duduk semeja atau berjabat tangan dan berpelukan sambil melaga pipi dengan Tok Hadi kemudian mengelus janggut. Kalau ini berlaku saya nak buat pulut ikan kering dua cukup ajak kekawan makan di rumah saya. - mso
Tak pernah tengok Mahathir duduk semeja, berborak2, ketawa dgn politikus pembangkang..😅😅😅
MP kutip statistik dari lubang jamban...
Pak lebai temberang berbahas dengan kelentong dan auta. Dia pernah cakap Singapura pengeksport padi pada sesi yang lalu. Sebenarnya ada 3 jambatan dari jarak yg disebut(Gaal ke Pasir Puteh) bukan 8.Sejak zaman berzaman jambatan tu sempit.. bukan sejak dua tahun PH memerintah ni. Mana dia kutip statistik... Angka kematian tu..adakah dari angka rasmi PDRM? Apa kata seorang anak jati Pasir Puteh...
Sebagai seorg anak jati Pasir Puteh,ambo terasa amat malu dan aib dgn kebodohan ahli parlimen Pasir Puteh..Seorg yg amat TIDAK LAYAK sbgai seorg MP..Berhujah dlm parlimen ambil cerita dlm tong sampah..Bodoh krana tak blh beza wang royalti dgn wang ehsan.. Sepatutnya kalau nk komplen ttg jalanraya,bangkitlah semasa berbahas dgn Menteri Kerjaraya..itulah medium yg sesuai nk bangkit isu jalanraya..jgnlah bodoh sangat..
Kononnya Drp Gaal ke Pasir Puteh, 8 jambatan sempit..Betul2 PENIPU dan PEMBOHONG punya MP..Drp Gaal ke Pasir Puteh hnya ada 3 jambatan kecil dan ianya tak pernah dibaiki sejak BN perintah M'sia lbh 60 thn lalu,bkn era PH yg blm smpai 2 thn..Beratus2 org dah meninggal kerana kemalangan?Kamu kutip statistik dlm lubang jamban mana mp ngok oiii?Sepatutnya bertanyalah dgn phk polis trafik utk dptkan fakta yg sebenar..
Nak tanya ustaz kot2 ustaz tahu..Seseorg tlh mewakafkan tanahnya utk dijadikan pusat tarbiah Islam di Kampong Tok Has Jerteh..Tanah wakaf itu diserah secara mutlak kpd siapa dan pusat tarbiah yg dibina atas tanah seseorg itu dibuat atas nama siapa? Betulkah tanah wakaf itu sebahagiannya dipecahkan kpd lot banglo?Kalau betul,tanah lot banglo itu dibuat atas nama siapa?Dah dibinakan banglo di atas tanah itu? Betulkah ada pusat tarbiah di situ? Sy bertanya krana tak tahu dan ingin tahu dan mungkin ustaz tahu..- f/bk
Jelutong nak isi borang UMNO ke?