Cabinet to hear about PLUS' future direction this month

By THE STAR | 3 December 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: The three ministries involved in discussions on the takeover of PLUS Malaysia Bhd will issue a joint memorandum to the Cabinet this month on the future path of the country's biggest highway operator.

Works Minister Baru Bian said the three ministries - Works, Finance and Economic Affairs - have met last week and will meet again soon, following which they will come up with the joint memorandum by mid-December.

"After the discussions, there will be a joint memorandum presented to the Cabinet, based on the three Ministries' decision.

"This will be done shortly; we are targeting the middle of this month if possible," said Baru in a press conference at the National Technical Profession Day celebration here on Tuesday (Dec 3).

On a question whether PLUS' major shareholders Khazanah Nasional Berhad and Employees Provident Fund (EPF) will be called in for the next meeting, Baru said that they will only be summoned if the need arises.

UEM Group Bhd, which is fully-owned by the government's sovereign wealth fund Khazanah, owns a 51% stake in PLUS, while the remaining 49% belongs to the EPF.

"For the time being, this meeting is only between the three ministries because we have received the offers already.

"For the Works Ministry, we have received the details and been briefed by respective representatives.

"At this moment, they (Khazanah and EPF) don't need to be in, if need be, we will call them in," he said.

He added that his Ministry has received five offers in total, with four bidders from the private sector and also one proposal from Khazanah itself.

"Khazanah is also proposing their own structure, so we are considering all of these proposals," he said.

It was previously reported of Baru saying that the four bidders were Widad Group Bhd, Maju Holdings Sdn Bhd, RRJ Capital and business tycoon Tan Sri Halim Saad.

On whether other proposals had been received by the Finance Ministry, Baru said that he only knew that it had also received a proposal from Khazanah.

"The Finance Ministry doesn't submit (the proposals) to us, they have received one from Khazanah but I don't know about others," he said.

While Khazanah has said it has no plans to divest PLUS, the government has shown willingness to consider private bids for PLUS.