DRB-Hicom rules out total sale of Proton

PETALING JAYA: DRB-Hicom Bhd’s Request For Proposal (RFP) exercise seeking a partner for Proton Holdings Bhd is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2017 and precludes a total disposal of its stake in the group.

DRB-Hicom said this in response to news articles which alluded to a potential disposal of its entire stake in Proton to another party.

“DRB-Hicom wishes to deny the statement suggesting it may dispose of all of its stake in Proton. DRB-Hicom remains highly committed to hold a substantial and strategic stake in Proton and is confident of and is currently assisting Proton in its turnaround programme,” DRB-Hicom said in a stock exchange filing yesterday.

“It must be highlighted that as part of the requirement of the RM1.5 billion loan granted by the government, Proton is currently undertaking an RFP exercise seeking a partner to Proton who can provide a strategic, operational and cultural fit on a permanent basis with the intention to grow its automotive business.”

DRB-Hicom added that the RFP implementation is being overseen by the Task Force Committee formed by the government to monitor the turnaround of Proton.

It was reported that DRB-Hicom is expecting up to seven bids to purchase part or all of Proton.

Automakers which have reportedly shown an interest include Volkswagen AG and General Motors Co, and Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd.

The group’s shares rose 5 sen or 4.5% to close at RM1.16 yesterday with some 19.5 million shares changing hands.