KUALA LUMPUR – September 29, 2017: Maju Holdings is confident its good track record will convince the government not to worry over its bid to take over PLUS Expressways Berhad.
Hence it claims to have the capability to manage PLUS better than its parent company, UEM Group.
“If Maju has no idea how to run a highway, why is it our cost ratio at MEX (Maju Expressway) is among the lowest?” asked Maju advisor to group executive chairman Datuk Rashid Ghazali.
“Our bondholders are not complaining because we pay them on time and we still have RM2.4 billion worth of outstanding bonds. Also, our bonds are trading at a premium, which means people are willing to accept less because they believe it’s a good bond.”
Rashid was responding to a statement by Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani yesterday about the government’s concerns that PLUS’ assets could fall into the hands of foreign entities if Maju Holdings’ proposal was funded by offshore banks.
News of the RM36 billion takeover proposal was first reported two months ago but Maju submitted its bid only about three weeks ago. The Employees’ Provident Fund and Khazanah Nasional, which both own PLUS, have repeatedly made clear they have no intention of selling their shares.
Recent reports also suggested that some Malaysians thought the takeover deal, which guaranteed static toll rates for 20 years, was too good to be true.
“If it was nonsensical, do you think Evercore Partners, a globally renowned financial advisor firm, will back our proposal?” asked Rashid.
Rashid is also puzzled why some found it difficult to seriously consider Maju Holdings’ proposal.
EPH and Khazanah took over control of PLUS, which has five concessionaires, in 2010.