10 October 2019: Maju offers to absorb RM2.7bil and reduce toll fares; Utusan will be back

Maju plans to absorb govt’s RM2.7b debt in new PLUS offer
Maju Holdings Sdn Bhd has bumped up its offer to buy PLUS Malaysia Bhd by proposing to absorb the RM2.7 billion in toll compensation owed by the government to PLUS, as well as reduce toll fares. The government will save RM2.7 billion by virtue of the fact that the company will absorb the toll compensation, Maju Holdings said in a statement. The company said its proposal also includes a 25% to 36% reduction in toll rates, with the company bearing the cut in full. Its revised proposal to the government this week included offering to buy PLUS at an enterprise value of RM34.9 billion, which includes the leading highway operator’s debt to bondholders. In addition, the company said it was committed to invest some RM5.3 billion which would include lighting up the entire length of the highway along with other enhancements. (The Edge)

Utusan ceases publication but may be back soon
All publications under the Utusan Group – Utusan Malaysia, Mingguan Malaysia, Kosmo! and Kosmo! Ahad – have ceased publication effective today, but sources say it will not be long before the newspapers hit the streets again. All four newspapers are expected to resume publication on Nov 1 under a new management, according to information obtained. It is learnt that a large number of the existing 862 employees will not be re-hired. Utusan executive chairman Datuk Abd Aziz Sheikh Fadzir announced that poor cash flow, mounting debts and declining sales led to the board of directors arriving at the decision on Monday. He said Aurora Mulia Sdn Bhd has acquired a 70% stake of Utusan-owned Dilof Sdn Bhd, which is the company holding the printing permits for the four newspapers. (The Star Online)

Mega project boost for budget
Several mega-infrastructure projects are expected to kick off following the Budget 2020 announcement, with one of them having its development agreement signed just hours before the tabling of the budget on Friday. Sources said the government would announce the commencement of the tunnel project in Penang and the revived Bandar Malaysia project, as well as new highway projects to be constructed in Selangor. The development agreement for the project in Penang will finally be inked on Friday between the Penang state government and the main contractor, Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd. Meanwhile, on the expected new highways to be announced in Selangor, one is expected to stretch across Petaling Jaya, while the other will be the 350km Central Spine Road (CSR) project which will link Kuala Krai in Kelantan to Simpang Pelangai in Pahang. (The Star Online)

Iskandar Malaysia realises 57% of total investments in 1H2019
Iskandar Malaysia, the southern economic corridor, has realised RM172.2 billion or 57% of the total investments to date as of 1H2019. Knight Frank Malaysia managing director Sarkunan Subramaniam said Iskandar Malaysia remains in the radar of investors where of the total investments realised, 39% were foreign direct investment mainly from China (RM40.65 billion) and Singapore (RM20.57 billion). Iskandar Malaysia has since its inception in 2006 recorded cumulative committed investment of RM302.09 billion. “With its current performance pace, Iskandar Malaysia is expected to exceed the targeted investment sum of RM383 billion by 2025,” he said. Sarkunan said foreign investors were most concerned with possibilities of lower operation cost, strategic location and talent pool/skilled labour in making their decisions to invest into the region. (The Sun Daily)

Old Kickapoo bottling plant in PJ up for sale
Once the bottling facility for soft drinks, including Sinalco and Kickapoo Joy Juice, a 55-year-old factory and the land on which it sits in Section 13, Petaling Jaya, are up for sale. The Singapore owners of National Aerated Water Co (KL) Sdn Bhd may be able to get as much as RM50 million for the land, which has the potential to be developed into serviced apartments, industry sources say. The bottling plant ceased operations over a decade ago, and sits on a leasehold parcel of 2.06 acres. Based on Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya’s (MBPJ) Special Area Plan for Section 13, the site has the potential for a mixed-use development with a permissible plot ratio of 3.25. (The Edge)

(Source: The Edge)

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