Consortium led by EPF, Khazanah Nasional to privatise MAHB

A CONSORTIUM spearheaded by the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Khazanah Nasional Bhd is set to privatise Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB), according to sources.

The consortium will also include Abu Dhabi’s state investment arm and the New York-based Global Infrastructure Partners.

Sources disclosed to The Edge Malaysia that the offer price for the takeover is expected to range between RM10.50 and RM11.50 per share, marking a premium of up to 11% over its last traded price before trading was halted on Tuesday (May 14).

Prior to the suspension, MAHB’s stock soared to a record high of RM10.40, giving the company a market valuation of approximately RM17.4 bil. This year, MAHB’s share price has climbed by 41%, surpassing analysts’ target prices.

Moreover, MAHB operates Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and the adjacent KLIA2, the base for low-cost carrier AirAsia, along with managing over three dozen smaller airports nationwide. As of the end of December 2023, MAHB’s net assets stood at RM4.80 per share.

Earlier in April, The Edge Malaysia reported that a privatisation plan might involve Khazanah selling its 33.24% stake in MAHB to the EPF, triggering a mandatory general offer. However, a Khazanah spokesperson denied this in an emailed statement.

The EPF, which holds a 7.04% equity interest in MAHB, declined to comment on “speculation and rumour” in response to an email from The Edge Malaysia. According to Bloomberg data, other major shareholders include the pension fund Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Diperbadankan) (KWAP), which has a 7.11% stake.

In March, MAHB and the government signed new operating and land lease agreements, extending MAHB’s concession to manage the country’s airports from 2034 to February 2069.

For the financial year ended December 2023, MAHB reported a net profit of RM543.17 mil on revenue of RM4.91 bil. In FY2022, the company posted a net profit of RM187.2 mil on revenue of RM3.13 bil.

As of the end of December 2023, MAHB held RM1.84 bil in cash and cash equivalents, with long-term borrowings of RM3.34 bil and short-term debt commitments of RM1.25 bil. The company had retained earnings of RM1.67 bil at the end of 2023. – May 15, 2024

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