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Biggest construction group emerges from merger
By Izwan Idris & Susan Tam Malaysia Star
PETALING JAYA: Shareholders of IJM Corp Bhd and Road
Builder (M) Holdings Bhd yesterday voted for the merger
of the two rivals to create the country's biggest
The deal, pending approval from market regulators, would
create an enlarged construction group with a market
value of RM7bil and assets in highway concessions, port
operations as well as power and water infrastructure
from Argentina to Vietnam.
The enlarged group would have a combined order book of
more than RM5bil with construction jobs in India, the
Middle East and at home.
“At some point we may have to take these
(infrastructure) assets to the market,'' IJM chief
executive officer and managing director Datuk Krishnan
Tan Boon Seng said after the company EGM yesterday.
“The question would be the timing of the exercise,'' he
Tan said the company aimed to develop the enlarged
group's assets to a certain operating level before
selling them to investors.
IJM owns five highway concessions in India and is
looking to list the operation this year.
the merger with Road Builder would add two local highway
concessions to the group and two port operations in the
IJM had recently taken up a 50% stake in the 48km
Kajang-Seremban Highway (Kaseh). Construction of the
highway is expected to be completed by 2009.
The company is also in talks for a stake in Kumpulan
Europlus Bhd, pending finalisation of the details on the
West Coast Highway project.
Inevitably, IJM's aggressive expansion would increase
its debt burden and limit its capability to raise funds
for future projects.
Tan said the acquisition of Road Builder would increase
the group's gearing to 0.76 times, but added that the
level was “manageable for a group of IJM's size.”
“We hope to complete the acquisition by the middle of
this year,'' he said.
The deal valued Road Builder at RM1.56bil, which IJM
would pay via the issuance of 273 million new IJM shares
to Road Builder shareholders.
“The market has reacted positively to the transaction
and it would be earnings accretive for IJM in the medium
to longer term,'' Tan said.
Shares in IJM have surged 35% since the group announced
plans to take over Road Builder in mid-October last
year. The stock closed 10 sen lower at RM8.60 yesterday,
after hitting a fresh high of RM8.80 in intra-day trade.
Road Builder's share price has risen 47% over the past
three months to RM4.04 yesterday