DRB-Hicom Berhad has released a statement stating that the search for Proton's foreign strategic partner (FSP) is ongoing. The company added that they plan to complete the process by the end of Q2 2017.
On top of that, DRB-Hicom confirms that all bidders are still in the running and evaluation is ongoing. DRB-Hicom further adds that the process is complex and it will take some time to decide on the chosen FSP.
Earlier, we reported that Geely has withdrawn from its bid for Proton. “They keep changing [their minds], today it’s this, tomorrow it’s that,” said Geely chairman Li Shufu. Part of Geely's effort was to offer the D-segment Geely GC9 and the Geely Boyue five-seater SUV to Proton. On top of that, Proton would have access to small car engineering thanks to Volvo.
Geely's withdrawal meant that PSA is likely the sole bidder left for Proton. In February, PSA confirmed that they made their offer and was willing to go further. They did not elaborate beyond that. If PSA's bid is successful, the French plans to utilize Proton's Tanjung Malim production facility to expand their presence in the South East Asia region.
The search for Proton's foreign strategic partner is part of the condition of the soft loan handed to Proton to pay its vendors.