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Thursday, November 16, 2006

DRB-HICOM: Proton stake offers synergy

SHAH ALAM: DRB-HICOM Bhd says it is keen on a stake in Proton Holdings Bhd because both companies have inter-related businesses.

Chief operating officer Mohd Redza Shah Abdul Wahid said DRB-HICOM unit Edaran Otomobil Nasional Bhd distributed Proton cars and that many of its component companies also supplied parts to the national carmaker.

“DRB-HICOM group, historically, owned a stake in Proton and, therefore, we are interested in the development of Proton. We feel we can assist the Government in the future of Proton,” he said at the DRB-HICOM Hari Raya and Deepavali open house here yesterday.

In reply to a Bursa Malaysia query on Tuesday, DRB-HICOM confirmed reports that it has proposed to buy a stake in Proton. Other companies that have expressed a similar interest are the Mofaz group and Naza group.

On the size of the Proton stake, Redza said the proposal was still at the preliminary stage. “We have stated the number of shares we are interested in (acquiring) but it is best I don’t disclose it now,” he said.

He also said the proposal was DRB-HICOM’s own initiative and that it was not invited by the Government to acquire a stake in Proton.

Redza said DRB-HICOM had “certain ideas on Proton to be shared with the relevant people”.

“It is now in the hands of the Government. They have not given us a time-frame but I believe it is a matter of priority to the Government,” he added.

Commenting on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s recent announcement that the Government might allow foreign companies to own more than 50% of Proton’s manufacturing operations, Redza said DRB-HICOM would not object to Proton getting a foreign partner like Volkwagen AG if it succeeded in taking up a stake in Proton.

He said the group believed the Government was on the right track in looking for a foreign strategic partner.

“It all depends on what's best for the nation,” he added.


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What is the main factor for you to buy a Proton Car?
Low price and no other choice due to budget
Good resale value
Low maintenance cost
Ride & Handling is good
Reliable parts, chasis and engine
Good Styling exterior & Interior
Patriotism (I support Made in Malaysia Products)
Follow others (Follow Majorities should be the best choice)