Oxley’s project sees interest from funds

KUALA LUMPUR: Oxley Holdings (M) Sdn Bhd (Oxley Malaysia), the local unit of Singapore developer Oxley Holdings Ltd, is in talks with several government-linked funds to invest in its RM3.5 billion mixed development planned in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.

“Many investment organisations have approached us to invest in the development,” said Datuk Othman Omar, Oxley Malaysia’s newly-appointed chief executive, in an interview with The Edge Financial Daily.

“They are interested to take on certain components, so it is about identifying how they want to come in,” he added.

According to Othman, the mixed development on the 3.11 acre (1.25ha) parcel in Jalan Ampang, where the Chef Choi Restaurant and Pelita Eatery are, will house two five-star hotels, a shopping mall, serviced apartments, offices and a theme park.

The entire project is expected to have a gross development value (GDV) of between RM2.5 billion and RM3.5 billion, with targeted premium pricing for the units that will leverage on the world’s top luxury hotel brands.

Industry sources said Oxley is trying to rope in top hotel brands like Jumeirah and Waldorf Astoria for its two luxury hotels.

Jumeirah is a Dubai-based luxury hotel chain best known for the iconic Burj al Arab in Dubai. Waldorf Astoria on the other hand is Hilton Worldwide’s flagship luxury hotel and resort brand.

Oxley Malaysia caught market attention last November when it bought the 3.11-acre Jalan Ampang parcel for a whopping RM446.7 million.

The prime land was transacted at a record-breaking RM3,300 psf at the time from the descendants of Loke Yew, who incidentally still have a number of undeveloped parcels in the city centre.

To set itself apart from other luxury developments in the heart of KL, the Jalan Ampang project will feature a unique theme park concept.

“We are talking to [Australia-based] Sanderson Group, which is going to design a theme park for us — it will be a vertical structure on different levels.

“We are negotiating with them which intellectual property they want to bring in — Paramount, Dreamworks and Fox Studios are among them,” said Othman, who is the former general manager of the Selangor State Development Corp and was appointed to his new position on March 1.

According to him, Oxley Malaysia plans to submit the development order this month, before works can begin.

At the moment, Oxley Malaysia has eight on-going projects in the country with a total estimated GDV of RM8 billion.

Its parent, Singapore Exchange-listed Oxley Holdings has been doing well financially. For the first half of the year ended Dec 2013, the group saw net profit jump 15-fold to SG$275.9 million (RM712.73 million) from SG$18 million in the year prior.

This was on the back of a 709% jump in revenue to SG$888.2 million from SG$109.8 million in the same period in 2012.

Incidentally, Oxley Holdings’ share price has been on an uptrend since the Jalan Ampang purchase in November. Its share closed at SG$0.765 yesterday, doubling from SG$0.38 at the beginning of November 2013 putting its current market capitalisation at S$2.26 billion.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on April 9, 2014.


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