Liew to join Eco World on May 6

KUALA LUMPUR: Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin, who will step down from his post as chief executive officer and president of S P Setia Bhd tomorrow, will join the board of Eco World Development Group Bhd (Eco World) as a director next Tuesday, said sources.

The appointment of Liew is well expected considering that his eldest son Liew Tian Xiong is the single largest shareholder with a 35.05% stake currently. Tian Xiong is presently Eco World executive director.

Also on the board are former S P Setia top personnel. They include Eco World president and chief executive officer Datuk Chang Khim Wah and Datuk Eddie Leong, a majority shareholder of Eco World.

This comes on the heels of Liew having sold his equity interest in S P Setia to Permodalan Nasional Bhd.

Last Friday, Eco World announced some fundraising exercises, which include a proposed share subscription for a cash consideration of RM1.37 billion, a rights issue with free detachable warrants to raise approximately RM788 million, and a private placement of new shares equivalent to 20% of its enlarged share base.

After the proposed share split, share subscription, rights issue with warrants, placement and assuming the full exercise of the warrants, Tian Xiong’s stake will be reduced to 11.67%.

Meanwhile, Leong’s indirect stake will be increased to 63.05% from 30.01%.

Eco World closed down 3.7% or 20 sen at RM5.20 yesterday, giving it a market capitalisation of RM1.32 billion.

Additionally, Eco World announced its proposed acquisition of Eco Macalister Development Sdn Bhd and Eco World Project Management Sdn Bhd, both wholly-owned subsidiaries of Eco World Development Sdn Bhd (EW Development), and the acquisition of development rights from certain subsidiaries of EW Development.

The above acquisitions will result in an immediate and enlarged presence in the Klang Valley, Iskandar Malaysia in Johor, and Penang, Eco World said in a statement. Its landbank will increase from 1,326 acres (536.5ha) to 4,433 acres with growth in gross development value from RM13.5 billion to RM43.5 billion subsequently.

This will propel Eco World to be among the top 10 property developers in the country in terms of market capitalisation.

In tandem with this, Eco World has a sales target of RM5 billion, of which it hopes to achieve RM2 billion in sales for financial year 2014 (FY14) and RM3 billion for FY15.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on April 29, 2014.


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