Amcorp strengthens presence in London property market

KUALA LUMPUR: Amcorp Properties Bhd has further enhanced its presence in the London property market through a joint development of high-rise residential units valued at £560 million (RM2.83 billion).

The property developer has entered into a joint venture (JV) with Singapore-listed Hotel Properties Ltd as well as UK-based developers Grosvenor Ltd and Native Land Ltd.

The proposed development will be built on a two-acre (0.8ha) site, located in a prime location in Kensington High Street in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea where the main shops and facilities of Kensington are located.

In an announcement to Bursa Malaysia, the group said the six-storey development will consist of 72 apartments with 78 basement parking spaces.

Amcorp said the consented planning permission comprises  a "U" shaped development with the two main blocks linked on the Campden Hill Walk frontage by a glazed double height reception area with apartments above.

The total floor area is approximately 175,000 sq ft. "The estimated gross development value (GDV) of the proposed development is expected to exceed £560 million. It is still preliminary to disclose the details regarding the estimated total development cost or expected profit to be derived," said Amcorp.

Amcorp said it will undertake the project through its 33.3% owned associate NLG Campden LLP (NLG).

NLG wholly owns Clan Kensington LLP which holds a 50% stake in GC Campden Hill LLP, which in turn owns the freehold land. Hotel Properties holds the balance in GC Campden.

Amcorp said the joint venture allows the group to embark on the development of high-end apartments on prime land at Campden Hill Road, Holland Park School in central London.

"The JV provides Amcorp group with a valuable opportunity to build on the strong momentum of its successes in London property investments to further enhance its presence in the London property market in collaboration with Native Land and Grosvenor, reputable developers in the United Kingdom, and Hotel Properties," said Amcorp.

Grosvenor is a privately owned international property investment and management company with offices in 18 cities. Through the JV, Native Land acts as the financial administrator of the development.

"The board is confident that the proposed development will be well received due to its prime locality,"

"Having considered all aspects of the JV in NLG, the board of directors of Amcorp is of the opinion that the JV is in the best interests of Amcorp group,"the group said.

Amcorp intends to finance its portion of the capital contributions via internally generated funds and drawdown from its existing banking facilities.

In 2012, Amcorp had also taken an interest in a JV company — Ten Acre (Mayfair) Ltd — ?to develop  commercial accommodation that comprises a mid-terraced office building that will hold restaurants and gallery tenants with office accommodation.

Apart from Amcorp, Malaysian developers with projects in the UK are S P Setia Bhd, Sime Darby Bhd, Eastern & Oriental Bhd (E&O) and IJM Land.

S P Setia, Sime Darby and the Employees Provident Fund are known for jointly undertaking the Battersea Power Station project which comprises apartments, suites, townhouses and penthouses.

The estimated GDV for the first phase of the development which is expected to be completed between 2016 and 2017, amounts to £900 million.

In 2012, E&O acquired an office-cum-retail building known as Prince House in London for £20.3 million. IJM Land has a mixed development near the Tower of London with a GDV of RM1.5 billion.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on August 16, 2013.


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