Widad Group to take over RM861.6m UiTM concession via Serendah Heights buy

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 17): Widad Group Bhd, whose parent company Widad Business Group (WBG) has put in a bid last week to take over concessionaires under PLUS Expressways Bhd, is forking out RM95.89 million to take up a 90% stake in Serendah Heights Sdn Bhd, which is the ultimate owner of a concession to develop and maintain the UiTM campus in Jasin, Melaka.

Serendah Heights holds the concession via its wholly-owned YBK Usahasama Sdn Bhd, which inked a concession agreement with the government of Malaysia and Universiti Teknologi Mara or UiTM on May 4, 2010, to develop the facilities and infrastructure, as well as maintain the campus. There are 14 years remaining to the concession that will end 2034, valued at RM861.6 million.

The proposed acquisition is expected to boost the group's order book, which now stands at RM910 million, to RM1.8 billion on completion of the buy, Widad said in a statement.

Widad, which is principally involved in construction and integrated facilities management, inked a heads of agreement with Prihatin Ehsan Holdings Sdn Bhd and Training Camp Aabata Sdn Bhd for the acquisition today, which is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2020.

It plans to satisfy the consideration via RM86.3 million cash, which is 90% of the purchase price, and issue new shares in Widad Group for the remainder RM9.589 million or 10%.  

"Widad Group Bhd has been in this business for more than 20 years and our top projects have been the servicing of Istana Negara and JB Sentral. This new opportunity to develop and service the UiTM Campus in Jasin, Melaka is a chance for us to diversify our service offerings into the education industry,” the company said.

Last Thursday (Oct 10), WBG announced it had offered to take over Khazanah Nasional Bhd's 51% interest in PLUS Expressways's concessionaires for RM1.5 bilion cash, or buyout the whole -- the remainder 49% is held by the Employees Provident Fund -- for RM3 billion. 

It said the two-option proposal had been submitted to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as well as the works and economic affairs ministries a day earlier. The highways that are involved in the concessionaires of PLUS Expressways are: PLUS Highway, Second Link Expressway, Penang Bridge, North-South Expressway Central Link, Butterworth-Kulim Expressway and Seremban-Port Dickson Highway.

Widad shares closed 1 sen or 2.99% higher at 35.5 sen today, which valued the company at RM871.4 million. The stock has been trading between 22 sen and 36 sen in the past 52 weeks.

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