DRB-Hicom: We have more than one bidder for Proton

PETALING JAYA: DRB-Hicom Bhd has brushed off speculation that it has come down to one bidder for Proton Holdings Bhd’s foreign strategic partner (FSP).

In a statement yesterday, DRB-Hicom reaffirmed that all bidders are still in the running to be selected as Proton’s FSP following reports of China’s Geely Automobile Holdings withdrawing its bid to acquire a controlling stake in Proton.

“There have been news reports stating that we are left with only one bidder. I can confirm that all parties that submitted bids for Proton are still in the running and DRB-Hicom is still evaluating these bids. We are going through the tail-end of this meticulous process, and we are looking forward to completing this search by the end of the first half of this year,” said group managing director Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar.

He noted that the search for Proton’s FSP is a key part of turning around Proton and making it a competitive car maker and that this necessitates a detailed evaluation of all bids it has received from global car makers.

“Our intent is to turn around the fortunes of Proton. There are strengths and capabilities of the car maker that, given a new proven partner that can offer technology, capabilities and new markets, will push Proton as a brand to be reckoned with. This is why our evaluation of the bidders needs to be a detailed one. Proton and the incoming FSP must be able to create synergies that will ensure the success of this venture,” Syed Faisal added.