KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7 (Bernama) –The government is ready to review any bids to buy PLUS Malaysia Bhd (PLUS), said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The government he said, 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 (bid) complies with our needs, we will entertain their request,” he told a media conference at the Parliament lobby here today.
Hong Kong-based private equity firm RRJ Capital Ltd reportedly has raised its takeover offer of PLUS to RM3.5 billion compared to RM3 billion previously.
PLUS’s major shareholder, Khazanah Nasional Bhd on Oct 5 said it was not interested in letting go the strategic assets to anyone.
Asked whether the sale of assets such as PLUS would put a dent on the national income, Dr Mahathir replied, the government has a special committee to monitor issues related to the economy including the amount of national debt.
“We have a committee to look into debt and repayment issues. It (the committee) will make any proposal to reduce the country’s debt, ” he said.
On speculation that Japan Airlines Co Ltd (JAL) would be a competitor to buy a stake in Malaysia Airlines, the Prime Minister said he would hand it over to the country’s sovereign wealth fund to decide on the matter.
Khazanah is a major shareholder of the national carrier.
“I haven’t spoken to them (Khazanah) but there are a lot of contenders (who are interested) including many locals, (so) it’s up to Khazanah to decide,” said Dr Mahathir.
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