UEM Land to re-acquire land from Khazanah

PETALING JAYA (April 10): UEM Land Holdings Bhd has proposed to purchase a 122.28-acre parcel of land from Khazanah Nasional Bhd for RM93.21 million or RM17.50 per sq ft, as the property developer takes steps to consolidate its landbank in Nusajaya, Iskandar Malaysia.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia on Monday, the group said with its better financial footing, as well as the improved outlook for Nusajaya, it believed that it was timely for the group to re-acquire the land from Khazanah.

"More importantly, the proposed acquisition would allow UEM Land to realise its original development vision for Puteri Harbour," it said.

For FY11 ended Dec 31, UEM Land posted a net profit of RM302.94 million, up 55% from RM195.69 million the previous year. Meanwhile, revenue more than tripled to RM1.7 billion. Its cash stood at RM630 million, while its debt was about RM742 million.

It is worth noting that the 122.28-acre parcel is part of a land bank spanning some 4,500 acres that was disposed of to Khazanah as part of UEM World Bhd group of companies' de-gearing exercise in 2006. UEM World was the holding company of what was previously UEM Land Bhd.

UEM Land expects the demand for residential properties in Nusajaya to continue to increase, given the scheduled completion of several catalyst projects by end-2012. These include the Coastal Highway, the Legoland theme park as well as the local campuses of the University of Southampton and Marlborough College.

In its announcement to Bursa, the group said the proposed acquisition represents an opportunity for it to consolidate strategic land parcels that are in close proximity to its existing development in Puteri Harbour, a luxurious waterfront development.

UEM Land said the total development cost and expected profit to be derived from the proposed development have not been determined at this juncture. A detailed layout plan for the proposed project is expected to be submitted to the authorities by year-end.

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