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Ekovest aborts Johor land deal with IWH for the second time, cites Covid-19 situation

KUALA LUMPUR (June 4): Ekovest Bhd has again aborted plans to purchase the 96.27 acres of freehold land in Pulai, Johor from Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd (IWH). The group cited the rising Covid-19 cases and nationwide lockdown as justification for the decision.

The group had previously inked two sale and purchase agreements (SPA 1 and SPA 2) to acquire the 20 pieces of land for RM944.62 million on April 5, which was to be satisfied via the issuance of 911.32 million irredeemable convertible preference shares (ICPS) at 85 sen apiece and RM10.59 million in cash.

Both Ekovest and IWH are controlled by tycoon Tan Sri Lim Kang Hoo, who holds 32.4% and 63% in the two companies respectively.

“On behalf of the board, MIDF Investment and Astramina Advisory wish to announce that in view of the uptick in Covid-19 cases and nationwide lockdown in Malaysia, Ekovest, IWH and TTSB (Timur Terang Sdn Bhd) have vide letters of termination dated June 4, 2021, mutually agreed to terminate the SPA 1 and SPA 2,” it said.

Ekovest added that the parties have mutually agreed to fully release and discharge each other from their respective obligations and liabilities under the SPAs and that neither party shall have any claim against the other, in respect of the agreements.

This marks the second time that the deal has fallen through.

Ekovest had initially signed agreements for the pieces of land back in November 2019, for a total consideration of RM1.049 billion, comprising RM849.89 million worth of ICPS and RM200 million in cash.

The deal was called off on March 22 this year, resulting in a delay in the plans to float IWH on the local bourse. The Edge previously reported that the plan was delayed to the second half of 2021, from the first half as initially planned.

Ekovest's share price closed unchanged at 41.5 sen today, giving the group a market capitalisation of RM1.12 billion.

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