Ongk­ili says ball is in Se­lan­gor govt’s court

> State must make of­fer to Splash and agree on price tag to move wa­ter re­vamp ex­er­cise for­ward: Min­is­ter


KUALA LUMPUR: With the Oct 5 dead­line loom­ing, the En­ergy, Green Tech­nol­ogy & Wa­ter Min­istry is still in­sis­tent that the Se­lan­gor state govern­ment make the next move in the wa­ter re­struc­tur­ing ex­er­cise.

Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Pan­glima Dr Max­imus Johnity Ongk­ili ( pix) said the state govern­ment must make an of­fer to Syarikat Pen­geluar Air Sun­gai Se­lan­gor Sdn Bhd (Splash) and agree on a price tag be­fore the fed­eral govern­ment can de­ter­mine how it will as­sist with the ac­qui­si­tion cost.

“I am wait­ing for the Se­lan­gor govern­ment. I have an­swered in Par­lia­ment and many times pub­licly that the prin­ci­ple is ‘will­ing buyer will­ing seller’. They must make an of­fer to Splash then come back to us and ask how much the fed­eral govern­ment can help,” he told re­porters at the open­ing cer­e­mony of the 7th IWA-AS­PIRE Con­fer­ence 2017 yes­ter­day.

“I am only the ar­ranger, I can­not name a price for them. They must make an of­fer to Splash. They know the val­u­a­tion, they know the value, just make an of­fer to Splash be­cause it will take a long time. Splash has to go to its board, it is a listed com­pany,” he said.

On the fed­eral govern­ment’s pro­posal for a 60:40 ra­tio to ac­quire Splash eq­uity, with the state govern­ment bear­ing 40% of the cost, Ongk­ili said there has been some pre­lim­i­nary dis­cus­sion but the fi­nal de­ci­sion de­pends on the ac­qui­si­tion price agreed upon be­tween the state govern­ment and Splash.

The fed­eral govern­ment will look at the state govern­ment’s ca­pac­ity to pay and how much help the govern­ment has pro­vided pre­vi­ously, for the ac­qui­si­tion of three other com­pa­nies un­der the re­struc­tur­ing deal.

“Based on that, we have to dis­cuss at fed­eral govern­ment level how much we can help. We will be rea­son­able. We need to check whether they have as­sets to back their bor­row­ings and then we will see, sub­ject to what we have al­ready as­sisted and how much we can as­sist them.

“But this thing can only take place af­ter they have signed the sale and pur­chase agree­ment,” Ongk­ili said.

He de­clined to dis­close how much of the ac­qui­si­tion cost the fed­eral govern­ment is will­ing to bear but said that it is ne­go­tiable.

On the in­de­pen­dent val­u­a­tion car­ried out by Deloitte, Ongk­ili said the re­port is meant to be the fed­eral govern­ment’s third val­u­a­tion and the de­tails will not be shared with the state govern­ment.

“Two banks pre­vi­ously have given us the price and so we wanted to be con­fi­dent be­cause as­sets can de­value mov­ing for­ward but bor­row­ings and loans in­crease with in­ter­est. So we have to go through that process,” he said, adding that the state govern­ment has also done its own val­u­a­tion and has a value for the as­set. On whether the Oct 5 dead­line will be ex­tended again should the state govern­ment fail to make an of­fer to Splash, Ongk­ili said there will be fur­ther dis­cus­sions with the state govern­ment.

In 2014, the Se­lan­gor state govern­ment and the fed­eral govern­ment signed an agree­ment which would see the state govern­ment take over four wa­ter con­ces­sion­aires op­er­at­ing in the state, namely Pun­cak Ni­aga Hold­ings Bhd, Syarikat Bekalan Air Se­lan­gor Sdn Bhd (Syabas), Kon­sor­tium Abbas Sdn Bhd and Splash.

The state govern­ment has al­ready taken over wa­ter as­sets be­long­ing to the three com­pa­nies, ex­cept for Splash, which has been de­layed twice from Oct 7, 2016 to April 7, 2017 with the lat­est dead­line be­ing Oct 5, 2017.

Note that Splash owes some RM530 mil­lion in re­ceiv­ables to Tali­works Corp Bhd as of March 2017, which is re­cov­er­able, pro­vided the Splash ac­qui­si­tion issue is re­solved.

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