EPF, Khazanah to take MAHB private together with Abu Dhabi, GIP — sources

TheEdge Wed, May 15, 2024 01:11pm - 4 days View Original


KUALA LUMPUR (May 15): The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Khazanah Nasional Bhd will form a consortium to take Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) (KL:AIRPORT) private, according to sources.

Consortium partners also include the state investment arm of Abu Dhabi, as well as the New York-based investment fund Global Infrastructure Partners, sources told The Edge.

The offer price for the takeover is said to be in the range of RM10.50 to RM11.50 per share, a premium of up to 11% from its last traded price on Tuesday (May 14), before the stock was suspended.

Prior to the suspension, the counter surged to RM10.40, valuing the company at some RM17.4 billion — slightly lower versus its record high of RM10.44 on Monday’s (May 13) close. Shares of MAHB has racked up 41% gain so far this year, and has now exceeded analysts’ consensus target price of RM9.71.

MAHB runs the country’s main gateway Kuala Lumpur International Airport, and the adjacent klia2, home base of low-cost carrier AirAsia. The company also manages over three dozen smaller airports nationwide. As at end-December last year, MAHB’s net assets stood at RM4.80 per share.

The Edge reported in April that a privatisation plan may entail Khazanah disposing of its 33.24% in MAHB to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), which will trigger a mandatory general offer. A Khazanah spokesperson had denied such a move in an emailed statement.

The EPF, which has a 7.04% equity interest in the airport operator, said in an email response to The Edge that the pension fund would not comment on “speculation and rumour”.

The only other substantial shareholder of MAHB, other than Khazanah and the EPF, is pension fund Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Diperbadankan)(KWAP) with a 7.11% stake, according to Bloomberg data.

In March this year, MAHB and the government signed new operating and land lease agreements that extend MAHB’s concession to manage the airports in the country to February 2069, from 2034 previously.

For its financial year ended December 2023 (FY2023), MAHB chalked up a net profit of RM543.17 million, on the back of RM4.91 billion in revenue. In FY2022, MAHB raked in RM187.2 million in net profit, from RM3.13 billion in revenue.

As at end-December 2023, MAHB had cash and cash equivalents of RM1.84 billion, while on the other side of the balance sheet, the company had long-term borrowings of RM3.34 billion and short-term debt commitments of RM1.25 billion. MAHB had retained earnings of RM1.67 billion as at end-2023.

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