Mega RM30b financial package put together for PLUS

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Picture of Tan Sri Abu Sahid courtesy of Maju Group

A RM30 billion mega financial package is being put together by a group of middle-eastern bankers for tycoon and Maju Holdings group executive chairman Tan Sri Abu Sahid ahead of his bid for highway operator PLUS Malaysia Bhd.

“A group of bankers from Kuwait, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia met Abu Sahid a few days ago to finalise all the necessary financial formalities ahead of the bid,” an insider close to the deal told the Malay Mail.

The insider said these middle-eastern bankers met Abu Sahid a few days ago and have ironed out all the financial arrangements for the bid.

“I think the bankers have confidence on his financial capabilities to meet their demands.

“Finance and money would not stand in the way of the acquisition,” she said.

Abu Sahid is known to have strong connections, and is known to be aligned to the wealthy and the affluent, in the Middle East.

His son in-law Amro Al-Khadra, who is a director in Maju Holdings, is from the Middle East and is known to have sizable business interests there.

Abu Sahid wants to buy up both the 51% share held by UEM Group Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Khazanah Nasional Bhd, and the 49% held by the Employees Provident Fund (EPF). The acquisition could cost RM30 billion or more. UEM and EPF took over PLUS in 2011 for RM23 billion.

He intends to do this via his flagship Maju Holdings Sdn Bhd, according to a report in The Edge.

The Edge said that Abu Sahid was trying to meet Khazanah managing director Azman Mokhtar over the possible acquisition.

Abu Sahid, who was once chairman of Perwaja, told The Edge: “Yes, I want to buy all of PLUS (Malaysia) … the EPF’s 49% as well.”

However, he declined to reveal details as he has yet to commence talks.

If his plan works out, it could lead to the largest corporate exercise in Malaysia to date.

Abu Sahid was quoted by The Edge as saying: “I’m very, very confident of pulling it off. I have everything ready I have the money, I have the blessing from the highest levels in the country, I have the advisers and bankers already, and I have the formula to do it.”

From a humble beginning, he has defined himself in the infrastructure space in the country.  His company operates Maju Expressway which links Kuala Lumpur with Cyberjaya and Putrajaya, and in the near future directly to KLIA and KLIA2.

He is also the operator of the Integrated Transport Terminal in Bandar Tasik Selatan, also known as Terminal Bersepadu Selatan.

The terminal uses state-of-the-art technology to provide convenience for all North-, East- and South-bound bus passengers and terminal users.

This is the first public transport integration hub and it is already playing its role in reducing traffic congestion by diverting over 500 express buses away from the Kuala Lumpur city centre daily consistent with the objectives of the Greater KL Plan, the company website said.

This article first appeared in Malay Mail Money print version

Post Author: Sathish Govind

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