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Proton Foreign Partner To Be Announced Within H1 2017; 15 Feb Deadline Not True

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Proton Foreign Partner To Be Announced Within H1 2017; 15 Feb Deadline Not True

DRB-Hicom Bhd has officially refuted reports stating the search for a new foreign strategic partner (FSP) for Proton is expected to conclude today, 15 February. The company asserts that the selection of bids remain ongoing, but also reaffirmed that a final decision will be made within the first half of this year.

“There have been many reports that have suggested that DRB-Hicom’s search for a FSP will be finalised by today, 15 Febuary. We wish to reaffirm that as we have stated previously, we will conclude and announce our decision within the first half of this year. We will however endeavour to complete as early as possible,” the statement declared.

“We have also stated previously that this search is complex and thus, a time-consuming process. Upon receipt of bids, DRB-Hicom will start detailed negotiations with the bidders to ensure the key considerations we stated before are met by the potential FSP; these are the strategic, operational, and culture fit,” it continued.

Speculation on Proton’s future has been rife even since it was announced in September that DRB-Hicom is ready to offload as much as 51 percent of its holdings in the national car maker.

Five concrete proposals were reportedly received. Although none of the bidders have been officially disclosed, reports have linked Geely, the PSA Group, Renault, Skoda, Suzuki, and even the Naza Group as potential suitors. China-based Geely, which also owns Volvo, is reportedly the front-running bidder.

On 7 February 2017, DRB-Hicom confirmed that all interested bidders have completed their due-diligence auditing on Proton’s records.

The PSA Group, one of the companies reportedly interested in Proton, have yesterday confirmed that they are currently in talks with General Motors to acquire German brand Opel

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