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Singapore Investment


Tycoon Syed Mokhtar weighing options for  DRBHCOM 1619 DRB-HICOM BERHAD, sources say

(Dec 15): Tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary is conducting a strategic review of conglomerate DRB-Hicom Bhd, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The businessman is in talks with potential advisers on options that could involve a buyout of the firm, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the process is private. Syed Mokhtar is also weighing a stake sale or other ways to further streamline DRB-Hicom’s businesses, the people said.

Syed Mokhtar owns 56% of the Kuala Lumpur-listed firm through an investment vehicle, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. DRB-Hicom has a market value of RM2.9 billion.

Deliberations are in an early stage and no final decision had been made, said the people. Representatives of DRB-Hicom and Syed Mokhtar didn’t immediately respond to calls and emails seeking comments.

Should Syed Mokhtar decide to buy out DRB-Hicom, it would be the second of the businessman’s companies to recently delist from the local bourse. MMC Corp, a company involved in ports and logistics, power generation and engineering and construction, was taken private in 2021.

DRB-Hicom bought a controlling stake in domestic automaker Proton Holdings Bhd in 2012 from state-owned Khazanah Nasional Bhd. It sold 49.9% of the firm in 2017 to China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co, a deal that also gave Geely a majority interest in iconic British sports car brand Lotus Cars.

The Malaysian conglomerate’s automotive division has a complex that assembles about 17,000 units annually, with brands like Mercedes, Suzuki and Isuzu, according to its website. As a top defence contractor in the country, DRB-Hicom is also involved with the development, assembly and distribution of military vehicles for the Malaysian Armed Forces.

Its other interests include Bank Muamalat, a full-fledged Islamic lender, national postal service provider Pos Malaysia Bhd as well as investments in real estate, the website shows.


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