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9 October2009
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Proton chairman has no objection to management buyout

The battle for control of Proton Holdings Bhd has taken a new twist after the company’s chairman indicated his willingness to participate in a management buyout (MBO) of the national carmaker, reported local business daily theStarBiz.

“If Proton is indeed for sale and the price is right, I see no reason why an MBO should not be considered,’’ said Proton chairman Mohd Nadzmi. “As Proton is a fairly well managed company and financially strong, I believe turning Proton around would not be too difficult a task.”

Proton has emerged as a prime takeover target for a number of parties, led by DRB-HICOM Bhd and Yasmin Holdings Sdn Bhd.

Proposals for a takeover have been submitted to the Government.

The reasons to acquire Proton would vary among the suitors but the crux of the attention in the national carmaker would probably lie in the potential of the company.

Apart from talks of a takeover, the company is also engaged in discussions with Volkswagen on a strategic partnership.

Proton managing director Syed Zainal had last month denied contemplating conducting an MBO of Proton.

At a media briefing in the United Kingdom last week, Nadzmi said Proton was open to strategic collaborations, but it was no “lame duck’’.

He said any partnership must be based on the company’s strengths from which it could secure the best possible deal.

Nadzmi dismissed perceptions that Proton was “so weak and dying’’ that it could not stand on its feet.


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