Felda puts London property up for sale as part of asset restructuring
KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 13): The Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) is putting the Grand Plaza Serviced Apartments in London up for sale as part of its initiatives to reorganise and restructure its assets to strengthen its financial position.
Chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad said the decision was made following Felda’s decision to sell assets not related to its core operations.
“I am convinced the sale of this hotel is in line with Felda’s direction to return to its core business and will have a positive impact on Felda’s finances. This will also help Felda to focus on settlers’ plantation management to ensure they get a high income while ensuring their welfare and well-being are protected,” he said in a statement yesterday. He was commenting on Pandan member of parliament Rafizi Ramli’s claim that Felda would not profit from the sale.
Shahrir said 54 parties had expressed interest in buying the serviced apartments and the sale is in the final stages, with Felda looking into good and reasonable offers.
On Rafizi’s claim of a mysterious operating expense of RM80 million, he said the allegation was baseless as the main part of the hotel’s administrative expenses was annual lease payments.
The lease rate is the rental needed to be paid by FIC Grand Plaza Ltd, a company that manages the business on behalf of its parent, Felda Investment Corp (FIC) UK Properties Sdn Bhd (Felda’s investment arm).
He said Felda is a statutory body with its own income and financial resources, and has not obtained funding from the government since 1996. “This means Felda’s operations are not directly tied up [with] taxpayers or settlers,” he said, rebutting Rafizi’s claims the agency could lose millions from the sale and the purchase was made via a loan from the Employees Provident Fund.
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on Oct 13, 2017.