George Kent bids for HSR jobs

Tan Kay Hock also makes MGO for Jo­han Hold­ings

The Star Malaysia - StarBiz - - Front Page - By GURMEET KAUR and INTAN FARHANA ZAINUL starbiz@thes­tar.com.my

PETALING JAYA: Tan Sri Tan Kay Hock, who has fast made a name for him­self in the com­pet­i­tive rail trans­porta­tion busi­ness through George Kent (Malaysia) Bhd, has made a bid for a slice of the lu­cra­tive, multi-bil­lion ring­git Kuala Lumpur-Sin­ga­pore High Speed Rail (HSR) project.

It is the first group to bid for the rail project. George Kent told the stock ex­change yes­ter­day that it had en­tered into a pre-con­sor­tium agree­ment with Siemens Ak­tienge­sellschaft, Ger­many and Siemens Pte Ltd, Sin­ga­pore.

George Kent and Siemens will form an en­gi­neer­ing, pro­cure­ment and con­struc­tion (EPC) pre-con­sor­tium to pre­pare a joint of­fer at the EPC level via a spe­cial pur­pose com­pany (SPC).

They will bid for the de­vel­op­ment, fi­nanc­ing, con­struc­tion, tech­ni­cal op­er­a­tions and main­te­nance of the HSR.

“The agree­ment may lead to the par­tic­i­pa­tion of the com­pany in the KL-Sin­ga­pore HSR project which could con­trib­ute pos­i­tively to the com­pany’s earn­ings and net as­sets in the fu­ture,” it said.

Tan, who is George Kent chair­man and con­trols 37.44% of it, said the HSR project is one of the most pres­ti­gious and cov­eted projects in the rail in­dus­try as it is the first cross-bor­der high speed rail project in South-East Asia.

“George Kent is pleased to be part­ner­ing with Siemens who have one of the most im­pres­sive track records in de­liv­er­ing suc­cess­fully the safest and most re­li­able high speed rail sys­tems in the world,” he said.

Late last month, Malaysia and Sin­ga­pore held a sec­ond in­dus­try brief­ing in London to share more in­for­ma­tion on the high-speed rail project.

The com­pany, known as among the world’s largest man­u­fac­tur­ers and sup­pli­ers of water meters, is said to be gun­ning for more rail jobs such as sys­tems work for the RM55­bil East Coast Rail­way Link.

George Kent shot into promi­nence in the rail busi­ness af­ter be­ing awarded the sys­tems work for the RM1.1bil Am­pang light rail tran­sit (LRT) line ex­ten­sion project with its con- sor­tium part­ner Lion Pa­cific Sdn Bhd in July 2012. Cur­rently the com­pany, to­gether with Malaysian Re­sources Corp Bhd, are the project de­liv­ery part­ners (PDP) for the Light Rail Tran­sit Line 3 (LRT3).

George Kent is also a con­trac­tor for the mass rail tran­sit (MRT).

On a day when he has thrown his name in the hat for one of the largest in­fra­struc­ture projects in re­cent years, the low pro­file ty­coon also made news at an­other ve­hi­cle con­trolled by him – Jo­han Hold­ings Bhd.

Jo­han an­nounced to Bursa Malaysia that it has re­ceived a con­di­tional manda­tory takeover of­fer of 25 sen per share from its sub­stan­tial share­holder and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Tan, af­ter he raised his share­hold­ing in the ce­ram­ics maker turned prop­erty de­vel­oper.

Jo­han said Tan’s share­hold­ing in­creased to 48.17% from 45.76% pre­vi­ously af­ter he bought an ad­di­tional 15 mil­lion shares or 2.41% of the vot­ing shares in the group for RM3.75mil, or at 25 sen a share via Mustika Ma­nis Sdn Bhd (MMSB) in a busi­ness trans­ac­tion.

Tan and Puan Sri Tan Swee Bee, who is also a di­rec­tor of Jo­han, owns 50% each in MMSB.

The of­fer price of 25 sen apiece was at a 4% dis­count to the com­pany’s last traded price of 26 sen. The of­fer­ors in­tend to main­tain Jo­han’s list­ing sta­tus on Bursa Malaysia.

Jo­han’s core busi­nesses in­clude the fran­chise op­er­a­tor for Din­ers Club charge and credit cards, travel and tours, man­u­fac­ture of ce­ram­ics wall and floor tiles, prop­erty de­vel­op­ment, re­sorts and ho­tels.

Ear­lier in Au­gust, the com­pany said it is wind­ing down its ce­ramic wall and floor tiles man­u­fac­tur­ing busi­ness parked un­der Pres­tige Ce­ram­ics Sdn Bhd, which has been mak­ing losses for the last six years.

For the sec­ond quar­ter ended July 31, 2017 it made a net loss of RM9.95mil on the back of RM43.6mil rev­enue.

In con­trast, George Kent has been grow­ing steadily and has an or­der book of RM6­bil, ac­cord­ing to RHB Re­search.

As at the sec­ond quar­ter ended July 31, its net profit was up by close to a quar­ter yearon-year to RM25.37mil, while cash at that pe­riod stood at RM419.65mil.

Shares of George Kent closed 12 sen higher at RM3.23, giv­ing it a mar­ket cap of RM1.82bil.

Its share price has in­creased close to 63% since the be­gin­ning of the year, and trad­ing at an all-time high.

Jo­han’s mar­ket cap, meanwhile, stood at RM162mil based on yes­ter­day’s clos­ing price of 26 sen.

Joint bid: Tan is part­ner­ing Siemens in mak­ing a bid for a slice of the High Speed Rail project.

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