Guo­coLand to take sub­stan­tial stake in EWI’s IPO

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPEAK UP -

KUALA LUMPUR: Eco World In­ter­na­tional Bhd (EWI), which is eye­ing a list­ing by March 2017, has an­nounced that Singapore-listed Guo­coLand Lim­ited will be­come a strate­gic in­vestor in its up­com­ing ini­tial pub­lic of­fer­ing (IPO) to­gether with Eco World De­vel­op­ment Group Bhd.

EWI will be is­su­ing up to 2.15 bil­lion new shares or an 89.7% stake in its IPO. Guo­coLand and Eco World will subscribe for a 27% stake each in EWI. About 18.7% will be for in­sti­tu­tional of­fer­ing and 17% for re­tail of­fer­ing.

The re­main­ing 10.3% is to be held by EWI ex­ec­u­tive vice-chair­man Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin.

The pro­posed list­ing and IPO of EWI is tar­get­ing to raise over RM2 bil­lion to fund the de­vel­op­ment of four projects in London and Syd­ney.

The price at which the new IPO shares will be is­sued has not been fixed and will largely be de­ter­mined by way of book-build­ing process where prospec­tive in­sti­tu­tional and se­lected in­vestors will be in­vited to bid for the IPO shares.

Liew said EWI can tap into Guo­coLand’s fi­nan­cial strength, po­ten­tial land­bank op­por­tu­ni­ties and ac­cess the cus­tomer base of Guo­coLand in Singapore and China.

“Go­ing for­ward, Guo­coLand will not be just a strate­gic in­vestor. Guo­coLand will be a full-fledged part­ner. With­out Guo­coLand, we won’t go far. Our aim of bring­ing in Guo­coLand is for them to be a fullfledged part­ner so that the brand of Eco World and Guo­coLand can go to­gether hand in hand. We’re com­pet­ing in an in­ter­na­tional en­vi­ron­ment,” Liew said at the sign­ing cer­e­mony here yes­ter­day.

Guo­coLand, which is a mem­ber of the Hong Leong Group, is a prop­erty com­pany op­er­at­ing in Singapore, China, Malaysia and Viet­nam and has been on the look­out for ex­pand­ing into new mar­kets to fur­ther grow its real es­tate de­vel­op­ment busi­ness.

“The UK and Aus­tralia prop­erty mar­kets of­fer scal­a­bil­ity and we be­lieve that with the right prod­ucts and lo­ca­tions, they of­fer rea­son­able re­turns,” said Guo­coLand group pres­i­dent and CEO Ray­mond Choong.

The in­vest­ment in EWI gives Guo­coLand im­me­di­ate ex­po­sure to four de­vel­op­ment projects in London and Syd­ney with an es­ti­mated to­tal gross de­vel­op­ment value of £2.4 bil­lion (RM12.2 bil­lion). As at Oct 3, 2016, the cu­mu­la­tive sales in­clud­ing re­served units from the four projects are £1 bil­lion.

The in­vest­ment by Guo­coLand will be funded by in­ter­nally gen­er­ated funds and is within Guo­coLand’s fi­nan­cial ca­pa­bil­ity.

Eco World and Guo­coLand can nom­i­nate three di­rec­tors each to the board of EWI.

EWI will con­tinue to fo­cus on prop­erty de­vel­op­ment out­side Malaysia while Eco World will con­cen­trate on grow­ing its de­vel­op­ment busi­ness within Malaysia. – by Ee Ann Nee

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