New Straits Times


Govt should have considered proposal by local firm to revive company, say sources


THE sale of Malaysian Bio-XCell Sdn Bhd (BioXCell, the operator and owner of an industrial park in Iskandar Puteri, Johor, to India-based Biocon Ltd for RM25 million may lead to the loss of high-value investment opportunit­ies, said sources familiar with the matter.

Bio-XCell, a joint venture between Malaysian Bioeconomy Corp Sdn Bhd and UEM Sunrise Bhd, owned the central utilities facility (CUF) and a 3.2ha plot.

The CUF is one of the key attraction­s for investors in the biotechnol­ogy park.

It supplies utilities, such as steam and chilled water, and treats wastewater in the industrial park. This is beneficial to the tenants as it reduces their cost.

“There was a proposal sent to the government by a local company to revive Bio-XCell. The company wanted to invite local and foreigners to invest in the industrial park,” one of the sources told the New Straits Times. The firm had identified three to

five internatio­nal investors which had shown interest in the park. This could have brought in significan­t foreign direct investment­s of up to RM2 billion with potential multiplier effects.

For example, South Korea’s Amorepacif­ic Corp had planned to invest about RM 700 million in Malaysia, said another source.

One of its key considerat­ions was the availabili­ty of a CUF, added the source.

“Why is the Finance Ministry not putting an initiative to revive or save this government asset when there is a proposal that does not require any funds from government?”

The government could recoup its investment via economic activities generated by the park, said the sources, adding that a public-private sector initiative might be the best solution to retain the biopark as an investment destinatio­n for foreigners.

The sale of Bio-XCell was done through receiver and manager AdamPrimus Chartered Accountant­s, which was appointed by Malayan Banking Bhd in March after Bio-XCell became insolvent.

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