‘GAMUDA NOT A STUMBLING BLOCK’: DATUK LIN WANTS CLOSURE ON SPLASH TAKEOVER SAGA

SHAH ALAM – Gamuda Bhd, which wants closure on the takeover bid for Syarikat Pengeluar Air Sungai Selangor Sdn Bhd (Splash), expects an independent valuation on the price tag of its stake in the water concessionaire to be done in January 2017.

Gamuda group managing director Datuk Lin Yun Ling said he welcomes the independent valuation carried out by an international expert appointed by the federal government.

“This (Selangor water restructuring issue) has dragged on for eight to nine years. We just want to have a closure that’s fair to both sides so that we can move on,” he told a press conference after the group’s AGM yesterday.

It was reported that the Selangor government had offered RM250.6 million to buy out Gamuda’s 40% stake in Splash. The offer was, however, turned down by Gamuda, reasoning that it would cause a divestment loss.

When asked if Gamuda was willing to compromise on the pricing moving forward, Lin said: “I don’t think we want to cross that bridge until we come to it.”

He also denied that Gamuda is a stumbling block in the water deal and opined that the whole Splash stake sale has been over-politicised.

“I see it (independent valuation) as a step towards depoliticising it,” Lin said.

The other equal part shareholders of Splash are Kumpulan Perangsang Selangor Bhd (KPS) and The Sweet Water Alliance Sdn Bhd, controlled by businessman Tan Sri Wan Azmi Wan Hamzah. KPS, a unit under the state government had agreed to sell its 30% stake in Splash in 2015, while Wan Azmi had rejected it.

Splash is the last pending water asset under the Selangor water restructuring exercise. Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd, Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd and Konsortium Abbas Sdn Bhd sold their water assets for RM2.47 billion, RM3.11 billion and RM990 million, respectively.

On the Penang Transport Master Plan, Lin said the new cost estimates of RM40 billion is something new to him, adding that it should not vary too much from the earlier figure of RM27 billion. Gamuda has a 60% stake in SRS Consortium, the project delivery partner.

He said the etailed environmental impact assessments are being finalised, and will be submitted to the authorities early next year.

Meanwhile, Lin said Gamuda has clear growth targets planned for construction and property in the financial year ending July 31, 2017 (FY17), with four new township rollouts worth a gross development value (GDV) of RM45 billion for property. Its FY17 sales target is RM3 billion, compared with RM2.1 billion achieved in FY16. Its unbilled sales stood at RM1.9 billion.

The capital expenditure for the next two years is RM3.5 billion, to be used on infrastructure and placemaking. Its landbank of 3,800ha has a GDV of over RM55 billion for the next 20 years.

For construction, Gamuda’s order book stands at RM9 billion, which can last for three years. Its capex for 2017 is RM2.5 billion, mostly on plant, machinery and tunnel boring machines. Lin said in addition to the MRT Line 2 project, it will also see good growth if it can secure work from new government projects.

At the moment, he said, the main impact of the weakening of the ringgit is in the import of plant machinery.

THE SUN DAILY

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