Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co may withdraw its bid to purchase Proton Holdings Bhd.

KUALA LUMPUR: DRB-HICOM Bhd fell in late trade today after billionaire Li Shufu reportedly said he was planning to pull Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co out of a bid for Proton Holdings Bhd.

DRB-HICOM, which owns Proton, eased 3.45 per cent or five sen to RM1.40 in active trade involving 14.38 million shares.

Bloomberg quoted Li as saying that this was because DRB-HICOM kept changing its plans.

“They keep changing, today it’s this, tomorrow’s it’s that. They haven’t decided what they want,” Li said in an interview in Beijing yesterday.

Various reports have placed Geely and France’s Groupe PSA as leading parties to become Proton’s partner.

China-based Geely and France’s PSA Group had submitted bids to buy a stake in Proton, which needs to bring in a foreign partner to help in research and development as part of conditions it agreed to in return for a RM1.25 billion soft loan.

Bloomberg reported that Proton chief executive officer Datuk Ahmad Fuaad Kenali and a company spokeswoman declined to comment on Li’s remarks.

DRB-HICOM had stated that Proton’s strategic partner would only be announced by June.

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