Malaysian business tycoon Halim seeks to acquire Gamuda’s toll roads

Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Photo by nik radzi on Unsplash

Malaysian businessman Tan Sri Halim Saad has reportedly offered to acquire toll roads owned by Gamuda Bhd and Lingkaran Trans Kota Holdings Bhd, according to a report by The Edge.

Halim is said to have submitted the proposal to Malaysia’s Ministry of Works, the report added, citing sources.

The proposal has come in before the cut-off date today, for the Minister of Finance (MoF) Inc, Gamuda and Litrak to negotiate and finalise on the terms of a definitive agreement. The deadline was extended by two months from August 30.

Earlier in June 2019, MoF Inc pegged the prices of four toll roads in the Klang Valley owned by Gamuda at 4.5 billion ringgit.

Halim’s bid for Gamuda’s toll assets could pave the path for the creation of a toll highway investment trust, which could eventually be listed on the local stock market, according to a source.

Halim controls Malaysian public-listed company Sumatec Resources Bhd. He is also the former owner of Renong group, which built the North-South Highway.

For the uninitiated, Renong group did not survive the late 1990s Asian financial crisis and had to be bailed out by the government.

Besides Gamuda, Halim is also known to have placed his bid for acquiring a stake in PLUS Malaysia Bhd, owned by the sovereign wealth funds Khazanah Nasional Bhd and Employees Provident Fund (EPF). Others who have evinced interest in the company are Widad Group and the Malaysia-led private equity fund RRJ Capital.

However, Khazanah managing director Shahril Ridza Ridzuan, on his part, has said that the firm will not dispose its 51% stake in PLUS. Meanwhile, Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali said private companies would only look at profit instead of lowering toll rates or abolishing them altogether.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.