by Doreen Leong, The Edge
With the federal government certain of taking over the existing water assets in Selangor and Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Bhd (KDEB) assured of leading the consolidation of concessionaires in the state, Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd executive chairman Tan Sri Rozali Ismail is on the verge of exiting the industry.
Industry observers said the exit of Rozali, long the captain of the water industry in Selangor, was expected but the question now was the price he would be willing to relinquish the prized-assets to the government.
KDEB last Friday announced that the state government had been notified by Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor that the federal government was supportive of the proposed consolidation of the four water concessionaires in the state.
The reaffirmation by the federal government erased concerns on how KDEB planned to fund the consolidation exercise in Selangor, which was speculated to cost between RM8 billion and RM10 billion.
Apart from the consolidation exercise, the federal government has also set up a funding mechanism through Pengurusan Aset Air Bhd (PAAB) to take over the assets and liabilities of the concessionaires and would fund future capital expenditures.
Water assets in the state will be acquired and owned by PAAB and leased back to the asset operator, which will be, in this case, KDEB.
Initially, analysts were doutful of KDEB’s ability to raise funds for the proposed consolidation exercise as based on the combined revenue of all the water-related companies to be taken over, with the net effect of it being barely able to cover interest payments.… selanjutnya.