Caveats on Plentong land to be acquired by Mah Sing

KUALA LUMPUR: There are caveats on 28 out of the 31 lots, measuring a total of 1,352 acres in Plentong, Johor Baru, to be acquired by Mah Sing Group Bhd from vendor Bistari Land Sdn Bhd.

Court documents showed that the caveats were filed by Ang Swee Kang, the chief executive officer of Al-Cube Sdn Bhd. Al-Cube is a Malaysia-Hong Kong joint venture that had reportedly just pulled out of a multi-billion-ringgit offshore concrete industrial development project in Balik Pulau, Penang.

According to a spokesman from Al-Cube, Selva Sugumaran, the caveats were filed with the Johor land office last year following a meeting with Ang and Bistari Land to purchase the land said to be at RM6.50 per sq ft or RM368 million for the 1,352 acres.

The deal between Ang and Bistari Land had taken place before Mah Sing signed the agreements with Bistari Land in October last year to purchase the parcels.

The removal of the caveats by Bistari Land is ongoing at the Johor High Court. Bistari Land filed a suit with the court to remove the caveats on Sept 23, 2013, while Ang filed an action to strike out the former’s application in December 2013. Both cases have been fixed for hearing tomorrow.

“There are issues to be addressed over the property,” said Selva, adding that the caveats were not disclosed in the agreements signed by Mah Sing and Bistari Land.

This is not the first hurdle Mah Sing has encountered with regards to the purchase of the Plentong land, where it has planned to develop a RM5 billion township.

In October last year, Mah Sing signed a sales and purchase agreement (SPA) and supplemental agreement with Bistari Land to purchase the 31 parcels of land for RM411.2 million cash.

However, news emerged in November that the agreement was considered void as Bistari Land was presented with a winding-up petition by Lembaga Lebuhraya Malaysia over a sum of RM11.6 million.

To assure the investing public on the status of its proposed RM5 billion township, Mah Sing earlier this month announced to Bursa Malaysia that the Johor High Court had on Jan 6 granted an order to validate the SPA and supplemental agreement it had signed with Bistari Land.

Mah Sing had decided to apply to the court for an order to validate the agreements, saying it is a “bona fide purchaser with no knowledge of the winding-up petition on Bistari Land on or prior to the dates of the agreements”.

Already, Mah Sing has started the registration of interest for the Plentong project.

A Mah Sing spokesman in an email reply to TheEdge Financial Daily said it is normal practice to have registration of interest for new projects.

“It allows potential buyers to lodge their contact details and preferred products, so that we may give them more information and/or invite them for future previews and launches,” the spokesman said, adding that launches only happens once the advertising permit and developers licence is obtained.

On the caveat, the spokesman said, “It’s the responsibility of the vendor (Bistari Land) to remove the caveat”.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on January 21, 2014.


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