KUALA LUMPUR: Vertice Bhd, formerly known as Voir Holdings Bhd, has denied that it is involved in the scandal-ridden Penang mega infrastructure project aside from its recent investment of 13.21% in Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd.
“Vertice is not a contractor of the project,” the group said in a statement yesterday, clarifying that its venture into construction activities via its wholly-owned subdisiary, Vertice Construction Sdn Bhd, was 100% approved by shareholders on Nov 22, 2017.
The approval included Vertice’s subscription for a stake in Consortium Zenith, which was awarded the RM6.3 billion Penang mega infrastructure project in 2013.
However, the group’s share price continued to tumble to a five-month low, closing down 10 sen or 10.53% at 85 sen yesterday. The counter has been trending downwards ever since Consortium Zenith was reported as one of the three companies raided by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) last Tuesday.
Another public listed company, Ewein Bhd, has also seen its share price take a beating since the raid on its 73%-owned subsidiary, Ewein Zenith Sdn Bhd, on the same day.
Ewein’s share price fell one sen or 2.33% to 42 sen, five sen lower than its closing price of 47 sen last Tuesday.
Yesterday, Ewein released a statement saying that the group and its subsidiaries are not involved in any form in the Penang undersea tunnel project. This follows reports that its group managing director Datuk Ewe Swee Kheng was among those remanded by the MACC in relation to its ongoing investigation.
“Ewein, via its subsidiary Ewein Land Sdn Bhd, merely entered into a joint venture (JV) with Consortium Zenith in 2013 to develop a piece of land in Bandar Tanjong Pinang, Penang,” the group said, adding that it did not acquire the land from the Penang state government.
The land, which measures 3.67 acres (1.49ha) and was valued at RM133 million, is being developed jointly in a commercial transaction between Ewein Land and Consortium Zenith. The JV company, Ewein Zenith Sdn Bhd, is 73%-owned by Ewein and 27% by Consortium Zenith.
Meanwhile, Vertice has maintained that fashion is one of its core businesses, an industry in which it has had a domestic presence for the past 30 years. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong had questioned the company’s involvement in the undersea tunnel project despite being a fashion retailer.
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng responded by saying that Vertice was only an investor in the undersea tunnel project, and that this did not mean it would be involved in the building process.
In a statement yesterday, Guan Eng said the project had been awarded via an open competitive tender, and there was therefore “nothing to hide nor fear”.
Last Wednesday, Vertice issued a statement saying that Consortium Zenith’s role as the main contractor for the project would continue as planned, and that the investigation by the MACC would not impact its progress.
It added that Vertice Construction’s construction projects would be the main revenue driver for the group moving forward, and that its financial performance would not be adversely impacted by the recent events.
Vertice Construction had been awarded multiple projects worth more than RM100 million in recent months, with this momentum expected to grow “in 2018 and beyond”, the group said.
EWEIN & VERTICE related to each other through Consortium Zenith.