The works ministry has confirmed that to date, the government has received four formal offers to take over highway operator PLUS Malaysia. Minister Baru Bian revealed that the bidders are Widad Group, Maju Holdings, RRJ Capital and businessman Tan Sri Halim Saad’s vehicle Karongsa Private Capital.

The works minister said that all the offers will be reviewed and presented to the cabinet for a decision to be reached within a few weeks from now, Bernama reported.

“At this stage we are making an evaluation of all the offers and as the ministry responsible for all toll highways throughout the country, we will make our preparations and advise the cabinet on what will be best for us,” he told reporters in Kuala Berang, Terengganu.

Baru said that although the works ministry has its own time frame to resolve the PLUS matter, it would be done as soon as possible as the issue is of great concern to the people, the national news agency quoted.

Here’s a recap. Currently, PLUS is controlled by the UEM Group – a subsidiary of Khazanah – and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF). The former holds a 51% share in PLUS, with the remaining 49% owned by EPF. While Khazanah, the country’s investment arm, said it has no plans to divest off PLUS, the government has shown willingness to consider private bids for the highway company, as stated by prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad himself.

The relatively unknown Widad has offered to buy either a 51% stake or a 100% stake in PLUS. Widad’s offer is RM1.5 billion in cash for Khazanah’s stake, or RM3 billion cash for the whole thing. RRJ Capital – a Malaysian-led, Hong Kong-based private equity firm – has made a bid of RM3 billion cash to purchase PLUS outright, while Maju Holdings is the concessionaire for the MEX Highway. Businessmen Tan Sri Halim Saad and Datuk Wong Gian Kui have offered RM5.2 billion for PLUS, via Karongsa.

Finance minister Lim Guan Eng has said that companies who wish to acquire the PLUS must fulfil the minimum 18% average toll reduction that was announced in Budget 2020.