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Ekovest buys more time to mull over stake buy in Bandar Malaysia developer

KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 22): Ekovest Bhd has secured more time to consider a proposal to acquire a 40% stake in IWH-CREC Sdn Bhd, the main player in the Bandar Malaysia development.

In a filing yesterday, the group said it has mutually agreed with Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd (IWH) for an extension of 30 market days, from Oct 22 till Dec 3, for the group to “deliberate and consider as well as to enable the parties to finalise the relevant agreements”.  

IWH-CREC is a 60:40 joint venture (JV) between IWH and China Railway Engineering Corp (M) Sdn Bhd (CREC).   

The JV owns a 60% stake in the Bandar Malaysia project, while the balance 40% is held by the Ministry of Finance.  

Last month, Ekovest announced that it was going to commence exclusive negotiations to buy a 40% equity stake in IWH-CREC held by IWH.  

If the proposal goes through, IWH-CREC will have three shareholders, namely Ekovest (40%), IWH (20%) and CREC (40%).  

Both IWH and Ekovest share a common shareholder, Tan Sri Lim Kang Hoo, who holds a 63% stake in IWH and a 32.4% stake in Ekovest.  

Lim previously said that the price tag for the 40% stake in the JV was estimated to be RM1.5 billion.  

IWH-CREC had inked a restated and amended share sale agreement with State-owned TRX City Sdn Bhd in December last year to buy the 60% equity interest in Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd — Bandar Malaysia's master developer — for RM7.41 billion.

The multi-billion ringgit development, which was initially planned to start in March, has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The project is now expected to begin in early 2021, according to Lim.

Ekovest’s share price closed unchanged at 51.5 sen yesterday, giving the group a market capitalisation of RM1.39 billion.

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