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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Multiple bidders for a deal in Proton

PETALING JAYA: The competition for control over Proton Holdings Bhd's business is heating up.

Homegrown motor giant Naza Group said yesterday that it had, about two or three months ago, submitted a letter of intent to the Government to buy Khazanah Nasional Bhd’s controlling stake in Proton.

Its admission of interest in taking over Proton comes on the heels of DRB-HICOM Bhd expressing similar willingness in taking over control of the national automaker but whether those bids are being considered is another question. Both the companies believe the national carmaker would provide synergy to their respective motor business.

“We are interested in Proton as a whole. We believe we can bring Proton to a different level,” Naza Group chairman and chief executive officer Tan Sri SM Nasimuddin SM Amin said after the launch of Naza Kia and Naza Kia Services 3S Juru branch and the latest entry level Naza Kia product, Naza Suria.

Meanwhile, Bernama yesterday quoted Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop as saying the Government was talking only to Volkswagen AG (VW) of Germany and PSA Peugeot Citroen of France on the possibility of one of them striking up a strategic partnership with Proton.

“We are only talking with them (Peugeot and VW) at the moment,” he said on the sidelines of the Finance Ministry's open house in conjunction with the Deepavali and Hari Raya festivities in Putrajaya.

Nor Mohamed had recently said the decision on Proton's strategic partner would be made within three months.

News reports said VW was interested in taking control of Proton's manufacturing division.

Proton managing director Datuk Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir, when asked whether PSA officials were in town, told Bernama a technical team from PSA Peugeot “will be in town to conduct the feasibility study in areas of collaboration as highlighted under a memorandum of understanding.”

Bloomberg, meanwhile, quoted PSA Peugeot spokesman Hugues Dufour as saying the company was in talks with Proton to form a partnership to build and sell cars in South-East Asia and had no plan to take a financial stake in the Malaysian company.

Officials from PSA Peugeot, Europe's second biggest carmaker, were in Malaysia last week working on finalising the agreement and had met government officials, he said, adding that it aimed to complete work on the alliance by year-end.

“These discussions are being held in the framework of the letter of intent we signed and don't include at all taking any financial stake in Proton,” Dufour said.


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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)