KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 3): The Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar has emerged as the second largest individual shareholder of Berjaya Assets Bhd (BAssets) with a 10.09% direct stake.

According to a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday, the Johor ruler bought 80 million shares or a 6.7% stake in BAssets via direct business transactions last Wednesday.

The share acquisition brought Sultan Ibrahim’s total shareholding in BAssets to 10.09% or 120 million shares.

This confirmed a report by The Edge Financial Daily last Thursday that Sultan Ibrahim is expected to surface as a substantial shareholder in BAssets.

The seller of the shares is likely to be prominent tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun, who offloaded 80 million shares or a 6.7% stake off-market last Wednesday.

Following the divestment, Tan still holds a controlling 56.22% stake in BAssets — of which 33.04% is direct interest and 23.19% indirect via Berjaya Corp Bhd — as at last Wednesday.

In a statement yesterday, Tan said, “I am very pleased that DYMM Sultan Ibrahim has increased his stake in BAssets. This demonstrates His Majesty’s positive outlook for BAssets’ long-term future. His Majesty’s stature as the second largest substantial shareholder will definitely augur well for BAssets in the expansion of its businesses.”

Sultan Ibrahim has already invested in several companies in which Tan also has a stake. They are convenience-store chain operator 7-Eleven Malaysia Holdings Bhd and telecom solutions provider REDtone International Bhd, as well as U Mobile Sdn Bhd, the country’s youngest telecommunications operator.

BAssets is the major owner of Berjaya Times Square, one of Malaysia’s largest retail and commercial malls which houses Berjaya Times Square Theme Park, the largest indoor theme park in the country.

In Johor Bahru, the group owns the Berjaya Waterfront Hotel, Shopping Complex and Ferry Terminal, as well as office units at Menara MSC Cyberport.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on Oct 3, 2017.

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