KUALA LUMPUR: UEM Sunrise Bhd (UEMS) is expected to announce soon several partnerships in mall management/investment, property development and hospitality, with three local and foreign parties, according to sources.
The Edge Financial Daily understands that UEMS is partnering Australia’s Lend Lease Corp, Hong Kong-based property developer Sino Group and its Singapore affiliate Far East Organisation, and United Malayan Land Bhd (UM Land) in several commercial ventures in Kuala Lumpur and Johor.
It is believed UEMS’ deal with Lend Lease will give the latter the first right of refusal on all UEMS development land in the country pertaining to retail development, both for investment as well as management of the retail component.
Lend Lease will participate in the development of Publika 2, the shopping mall with one million sq ft in net lettable area being developed in the upcoming Floresta — Solaris 3 project in Kuala Lumpur.
It is unclear whether Lend Lease’s involvement will be via equity participation or management of the mall.
The integrated Floresta — Solaris 3 project has a gross development value (GDV) of RM2.33 billion. Located on 18.7 acres (7.56ha) near The Federal Territory Mosque in Jalan Duta, the project will include several high-rise buildings including a 50-storey tower.
This project will be undertaken by Ibarat Duta Sdn Bhd, a 70:30 partnership between UEMS and Melavest Sdn Bhd. Melavest is wholly owned by Taylor’s Education Bhd.
Sources tell The Edge Financial Daily that UEMS may hand over the management of the existing Publika Shopping Gallery in Solaris Dutamas to Lend Lease. In Malaysia, Lend Lease currently has a stake and also manages Setia Mall in Shah Alam.
Heading south, UEMS — the flagship company for the property businesses of UEM Group and Khazanah Nasional Bhd — is expected to rope in Lend Lease to operate the Mall of Medini in Iskandar Johor. The Mall of Medini project is a 55:45 joint venture between UEMS and Iskandar Investment Bhd (IIB).
This development spans some 35 acres and comprises street-style retail, entertainment facilities, shopping malls and serviced apartments designed to provide a unique retail, entertainment and lifestyle experience. The street-style retail component has been completed and the remaining components are expected to be completed in 2017.
UEMS is also expected to sign a deal that could see the debut of the Fullerton hospitality brand in Malaysia. Hong Kong’s Sino Group and its Singapore affiliate Far East operate the luxury class The Fullerton Bay Hotel and The Fullerton Hotel in Singapore. It is learnt that the Fullerton Hotel, which is popular for its chocolate buffets, will have a presence in Puteri Habour.
Sources say that the deal may extend to include another hotel brand under the group call Oasia. However, it could not be determined if the collaborations will merely be a management deal or if the foreign party will invest in the development of the hotel.
Should these two hotel brands have a presence in Puteri Harbour, the hotels will join two other brands already there — the currently operational Traders Hotel and the soon to open Somerset Serviced Residence.
Yet another deal expected to be inked between UEMS and UM Land is a joint venture for the development of retirement condominiums. Details of this partnership remain sketchy.
Both companies already have a 50:50 joint venture for a RM1 billion GDV project in parcel CS3 in Puteri Harbour located on a 6.7-acre site.
The Somerset project is in fact a joint venture project between UM Land and UEMS. Based on UEMS’ presentation material dated January 2014, it has 68.4 acres remaining in Puteri Harbour for development.
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on June 12, 2014.
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