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Westport to acquire land for expansion

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 7): Westports Holdings Bhd's wholly-owned subsidiary Westports Malaysia Sdn Bhd (WMSB) is buying a 146.4ha land in Klang, Selangor for RM393.96 million from major shareholders to develop eight additional container terminal (CT) facilities involving a development cost of about RM10 billion.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, Westports said it has entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement with Pembinaan Redzai Sdn Bhd to acquire the leasehold land near the Angler’s Resort and Port Klang Free Zone.

Westports said Pembinaan Redzai owns a 42.42% direct stake in Westports.

Westports executive chairman Tan Sri Datuk G. Gnanalingam is also a director and substantial shareholder of Pembinaan Redzai, the port operator said.

"Westports Group’s current CT facilities, comprising CT 1 to CT 9, is operating at a utilisation rate of approximately 77% of its total terminal handling capacity and Westports Group expects its current CT facilities to reach near full utilisation within the next few years.

As part of Westports Group’s proactive management strategy, it intends to undertake periodic increase in its CT capacity to meet the projected increase in throughput demand, as well as to remain competitive in the industry.

"Westports Group is investing in the deployment of additional terminal handling equipment at CT 9. Beyond CT 9, Westports Group is also planning for the expansion of its CT facilities by developing 8 additional berths comprising CT 10 to CT 17 (proposed expansion), to support the expected long-term growth in the coming decades. The entire proposed expansion is envisaged to be undertaken over a period of 25 years.

"Westports Group intends to fund the purchase price through internally-generated funds and/or bank borrowings," Westports said.

According to Westports, the development cost for the proposed expansion of its CT facilities comprising CT 10 to CT 17, is expected to be about RM10 billion, which will be incurred over 25 years.

Westports expects to fund the development cost through internally-generated funds, bank borrowings and proceeds to be raised from fund-raising exercises.

At Bursa Malaysia, Westports' securities trade was halted between 2:30pm and 3:30pm today, in conjunction with the company's announcements. At 4:40pm, Westports' share price fell five sen or 1.26% to RM3.91, for a market capitalisation of RM13.37 billion.

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