Naza Group scouting for M&A partner

SHAH ALAM: Naza TTDI Sdn Bhd is on the look-out for merger and acquisition (M&A) candidates in a bid to become one of the top 10 property development companies in the next three years.

The company, founded by the late Tan Sri SM Nasimuddin SM Amin, is also keen on getting a slice of the mass rapid transit (MRT) project.

Its chairman SM Nasarudin SM Nasimuddin told the media on Thursday, Mar 10 that he would not rule out the possibility of M&A with listed entities.

According to Nasaruddin, the company intends to acquire between 300 and 500 acres of land, adding that expansion of landbank was the company's priority. It currently has a landbank of 400 acres.

Nasaruddin also said there was currently "no intention to list Naza TTDI but it is something that we may look at in the future".

"We are capable of developing projects on our own. There may come a time when the high-impact projects need external funding, then we will probably look at listing," he added.

Naza TTDI has also established an associate construction company, Naza TTDI Construction, to complement the property arm and provide construction services.

"Currently we are just operating as a construction management company. We feel that the projects in hand enable us to enhance our construction strategies. It is also a platform for us to venture into other business overseas," said Nasaruddin, adding that the construction arm would allow them to tap into various projects including the MRT project.

To recap, Nasaruddin and his brother SM Faliq SM Nasimuddin had acquired a controlling stake of 33.15% in Kumpulan Jetson Bhd in August 2009. The share acquisition sparked speculation that Jetson would become the listed vehicle for the Naza Group.

Following the acquisition, both Nasaruddin and Faliq were appointed Jetson chairman and vice-chairman respectively.

However, it is said that due to the fallout between the Naza brothers and other substantial shareholders in Jetson, the brothers quit the board and pared their stake in the construction outfit in less than two years after the share purchase.

They also terminated the joint ventures with Jetson for two major Naza Group property development projects last year.

On the progress of the Matrade Exhibition Centre project, Naza TTDI group managing director Faliq said work had commenced and the project was on schedule.

He said it was a long-term project comprising several phases and many components, including a 100-storey tower.

Asked if it would compete with Permodalan Nasional Bhd's 100-storey Warisan Merdeka, Faliq said: "It is something that we would like to explore... but if Warisan takes off first then we have to build something that complements Warisan. We are not going to compete."

"We have to look at whether it makes sense to build. It is in our master plan but we have to look at timing, market conditions, supply and demand," he added.

Naza TTDI's signature project is the Platinum Park, which will house among others Menara Felda, Naza Tower, a retail park and residence towers. The project is 70% completed.

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