MAS Share Offer Of 27 Sen Is Best Possible, Says Ex-Watchdog Group CEO

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 5 – The 27-sen per share offer to minority shareholders of Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS) to delist from Bursa Malaysia and take it private, is the best offer possible, a former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Minority Shareholder Watchdog Group of Malaysia (MSWG) said Wednesday.

Datuk Abdul Wahab Jaafar Sidek said at 27 sen, it is already at a premium as the shares were languishing at 15 sen, before the offer came along. “If I were an investor, I would take the money and invest it elsewhere for higher growth,” Abdul Wahab told BERNAMA, on the eve of the crucial extraordinary general meeting (EGM) in Kelana Jaya, when minority shareholders will decide on the fate of the ailing national carrier.

Their “yes” vote will hand MAS a new lease of life and enable Khazanah Nasional Bhd to embark on its massive RM6 billion restructuring plan to turn around the airline within three years. Abdul Wahab said MAS as a national icon should not be allowed to fail again because its services went beyond being just an airline.

He said that because of the highly competitive landscape, it would take more than three years to put it back on track. Malaysia’s security rules and regulations required that such an offer must not only be fair but also reasonable, and for an independent advisor to decide on the offer price to avoid any conflict of interest, he said.

In this regard, MAS had appointed AmInvestment Bank Bhd which came to the conclusion that the offer was fair and reasonable based on two criteria, firstly, the market price and the historical price over the previous market price 10 days before the transaction. Secondly, it was based on the net tangible asset which was lower than the offer price and taking all into account, it was both fair and reasonable.

Asked what would happen if the minority shareholders were to reject the offer, Abdul Wahab said: “The issues at this EGM are for 50 per cent who come and vote as well as 75 per cent in value vote. “If these two requirements are met, then there is no option for those who don’t agree. They have to sell or will be paid back and the shares cancelled.

“So, there is no alternative. But if the scheme is not approved, then the Selective Capital Reduction does not move forward,” Abdul Wahab said. He reiterated that if he were a MAS shareholder, he would rather cash out and invest in other areas which could give “faster and higher returns”.

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