JCorp happy with conditionsfor sale of PBD land to IESB

KUALA LUMPUR: Johor Corp (JCorp) is positive about the conditions for selling its 9.57 acres (416,993 sq ft) of land in Pusat Bandar Damansara (PBD) to Impian Ekspresi Sdn Bhd (IESB), a private company majority owned by Datuk Desmond Lim Siew Choon of Malton Bhd and his wife Datin Tan Kewi Tong.

JCorp president and CEO Datuk Kamaruzzaman Abu Kassim said the company hopes to complete the sale within six months, despite the agreement being subject to several conditions.

“Hopefully those conditions will be met. Otherwise, it’s back to square one. But I am certainly happy with the sale conditions,” he said after the signing of a memorandum of understanding between JCorp and the Ex-Army Personnel Affairs Corp (Perhebat) yesterday.

JCorp’s indirectly owned Bukit Damansara Development Sdn Bhd (BDDSB) is selling the land parcels to IESB. Under the agreement, IESB will pay RM500 million cash and allocate office space totalling 266,668 sq ft in the redeveloped PBD land to BDDSB.  

The 266,668 sq ft of office space will be split into two portions. The first portion of 186,667 sq ft will be assigned by BDDSB to Khuan Choo Property Management Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Malton Bhd, in return for a 20-storey commercial office building known as V Square located in Petaling Jaya.

The balance 80,000 sq ft of office space will be delivered by IESB to BDDSB within five years from the date of IESB buying the land in PBD.

The sale of the land in PBD comes together with nine vacant commercial office blocks. All the commercial office blocks, except for 25 parcels of properties within the PBD commercial complex which have already been sold to other buyers, belong to BDDSB.

IESB’s preliminary plan is to build five new towers, comprising two office towers and three residential towers, and a suburban retail mall within the office space. The multi-billion ringgit development is expected to be completed over seven to eight years.

Prior to both IESB and JCorp agreeing to the sale and purchase agreement of the land in PBD this month, both parties were engaged in a legal battle over an earlier joint-venture agreement (JVA) signed in January 2009.

The original agreement was cancelled when JCorp said IESB and other Malton-related companies had not fulfilled the terms and conditions of the JVA by the Feb 28, 2011 deadline.

In November 2011, IESB and Malton-related companies filed a lawsuit against JCorp’s Damansara Assets Sdn Bhd to claim damages totalling RM67.63 million.

In its 2012 annual report, JCorp noted proceedings were set for April 30 this year but it did not make any formal announcement on the hearing. The pending legal case was not mentioned under the new agreement.

Kamaruzzaman said JCorp is on the lookout for more merger and acquisition opportunities.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on May 29, 2013.

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