Tropicana to continue unlocking non-core assets to trim gearing

PETALING JAYA: Property developer Tropicana Corp Bhd will continue to focus on unlocking its non-core assets as part of the company’s transformation business strategy, said group CEO Datuk Yau Kok Seng.

He said one of the initiatives taken was its de-gearing programme which would enable the company to achieve its desired gearing ratio.

“So far our de-gearing programme remains on track and this is where we will continue to see how best to quickly unlock the value and continue to divest non-core assets.

“Some of the initiatives have already been undertaken. At the moment, the [gearing ratio] is around 0.7 times and we would like to reduce it to 0.5 times within 12 months,” he said when asked to comment on a report on the proposed acquisition of the company’s Tropicana City Mall and an office tower by CapitaMalls Malaysia Trust, which analysts projected could cut the former’s debt level.

Yau was speaking at a press conference after the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) yesterday between Tropicana and Marriot International Inc.

Under the MoU, Tropicana is partnering the world’s well-known hospitality brand to develop a 200-room hotel in Penang called Courtyard by Marriott,

The 15-storey hotel is part of Tropicana 218 Macalister, an integrated mixed development project, which has a gross development value (GDV) of RM511 million.

“We have chosen a strategic partner that is in line with our focus to grow with a dynamic presence and will provide a strong branding for Tropicana.

“This is also in tandem with the group’s transformation roadmap in forming strong partnerships to accelerate growth and strengthen market leadership,” Yau said in his speech earlier. Also present at the event was Marriott Hotel Development Asia-Pacific director Peter Gassner. — Bernama

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on November 21, 2013.


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