KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 9): Glovemaker Rubberex Corp says it is confident about its proposal to take up a 20% stake in Empire City Mall in Petaling Jaya for RM180 million.

“We are confident of our investment in this mall, together with the partnership of such established developers, [and] are looking forward to a sustainable share of the profits when the mall is completed in the next two years,” Rubberex told The Edge Malaysia in a report this week.

“We are looking at the medium to long-term prospects, where possibly within the next two to three years, the global and Malaysian economies would have recovered from the pandemic with the commercial and retail sectors gradually reopening.

“A mall the size and ambition of Empire City Mall would have much to offer and attract in terms of shopping, dining and recreation — to both local and international tourists,” the company said.

Rubberex will joint collaborate with Alliance Premier Sdn Bhd, Exsim Holdings Sdn Bhd and JT Momentum Sdn Bhd to develop and operate the mall, via their subscription in a special purpose vehicle called Alliance Empire Sdn Bhd.

The report also stated that Knight Frank, the independent registered valuer for the deal, has “ascribed a market value of RM1 billion for the mall at the Certificate of Compliance and Completion (CCC) stage”. 

The glovemaker said: “With Empire City Mall at the present time being close to full completion and its prospective value by then of RM1 billion, this investment prospect was compelling by nature.” 

“Having studied the market feasibility plans and understood the mall’s many unique propositions and strengths, we believe our investment is justified. We understand the risks and challenges inherent in a monetary investment such as this and have in place adequate protective clauses in our agreements with the parties,” it added.

Meanwhile, ExaStrata Solutions Sdn Bhd CEO Adzman Shah told the weekly that “historically, glove companies such as Top Glove Corp Bhd and Supermax Corp Bhd have also favoured property investments”.

“At a time when the retail market is soft, prices and rental rates have also been soft. For certain properties with potential for development, it is a good opportunity to take a position in property when prices are more reasonable,” he said.

“There are also opportunities to capitalise on the economic recovery as well as the capital investment that has been sunk into existing developments such as Empire City. However, it remains to be seen how much more investment is needed to complete it as the development has yet to be fully completed and certain rectifications may be required due to its current state.

“The existing building can also be remodelled for other alternative use and therefore, a proper market study can perhaps provide good ideas on how to optimise the usage and value of the property,” added Adzman.

Read the full report in this week’s The Edge Malaysia

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