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Thursday, October 4, 2012

UEM to sell Time by year-end

KUALA LUMPUR: UEM Group Bhd expects to sell its 45.03 per cent subsidiary Time Engineering Bhd, an information communication technology service provider, by year-end.

Government-linked UEM has been mulling over divesting its Time Engineering stake since 2010, which it sees as a non-core asset.

UEM has four core business divisions - expressways, township and property development, engineering and construction, and asset and facility management.

UEM Group managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Izzaddin Idris said the diversified group is currently in talks with local suitors and hopes to complete the sale by year-end.

"We have been trying to sell Time since day one and have been trying to find the right mechanism.

"Once the board of directors meets and approves the sale, we will call you (the media) in due course," Izzaddin told reporters at UEM headquarters here yesterday.

It was earlier reported that a few parties had expressed interest in taking over Time Engineering, but the group said it wanted to grow the business first before selling it.

Time Engineering previously owned a 24.74 per cent stake in Internet service provider Time dotCom Bhd before disposing of it for RM287 million in 2011.

As at 2011, its price tag was said to be at least RM166 million.

UEM chairman Tan Sri Dr Ahmad Tajuddin Ali said the sale is consequential and, once the mechanism is in place, will come into effect.

"Time is just not our core business ... just like Pharmaniaga, which was a very good business. But we sold it off because UEM is not involved in healthcare," said Ahmad Tajuddin.

As at December 2011, the no-longer listed UEM, which is the owner of the cash-cow PLUS highway, owned assets totalling RM26.3 billion with shareholders' fund of RM7.6 billion.

Employing 16,000 workers, UEM is currently busy with the Nusajaya project in Johor, Second Penang Bridge, KLIA2, the 116km Cikampek-Palimanan toll highway in West Java and the Brunei national housing scheme project, which involves the design and construction of 4,000 houses over four years.

By Business Times

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