KUALA LUMPUR: The Edge had previously reported that French car manufacturers Group PSA and Renault SA have been in talks with Proton since the beginning of the year.
Other automakers that are said to be in the running are Volkswagen, General Motors, Suzuki Motor Corp, and at least one Chinese automaker which is believed to be Geely.
Media reports said DRB-Hicom had advised key stakeholders of the possibility that Proton might be wholly disposed of and that the whole process was expected to be completed by the first quarter of next year.
The sources added that DRB-Hicom made it clear that it was willing to sell up to 100 per cent of Proton, but “how much it sells will depend on the proposals and prices it receives”
The conglomerate also expects Proton, which is currently under-taking a request for proposal (RFP) to find a partner to help grow its automotive business, to complete the exercise in the rst quarter of next year (1Q17).
A task force committee was set up in April this year as part of the government’s approval of Proton’s application for a soft loan of RM1.5 billion, led by Performance Management and Delivery Unit chief executive officer Datuk Seri Idris Jala, to oversee the car- maker’s turnaround plan to make the company more competitive. Under the plan, Proton has to identify a foreign partner within a year to assist in research and development as part of its restructuring.
DRB-Hicom Bhd shares jumped as high as RM1.24 or 11.7 per cent Monday afternoon.
Yesterday at 12pm, DRB-Hicom was up by 11 sen or 9.91 per cent to RM1.22 with 11 million shares traded. Its intraday high was also the highest since Jan 4, according to theedgemarkets.com.