UOA offers 407 million shares to raise RM1.2b

KUALA LUMPUR: Property developer UOA Development Bhd, which intends to raise RM1.2 billion from its initial public offering (IPO), is offering 407 million shares, or a third of its enlarged issued capital base.

Its parent company United Overseas Australia Ltd's company secretary Alan Charles Winduss was quoted as saying that UOA Development's shares would be priced at about RM3 per unit.

"The money will be used to finance the expansion of the company and repay its debts," he added.

UOA Development chief operating officer David Khor Soo Beng said the IPO, which had obtained approval from the Securities Commission, comprised an institutional offering of up to 337 million shares and a retail portion of 70 million shares.

Post-listing, UOA Development will have an expanded issued base of 1.2 billion shares of five sen each. The company has appointed CIMB Investment Bank Bhd, RHB Investment Bank Bhd, OSK Investment Bank Bhd, HwangDBS Investment Bank Bhd and Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd as underwriters for the exercise.

"The signing of the retail underwriting agreement marks another important step forward towards the IPO,"  Khor said in a statement issued in conjunction with the signing ceremony with the investment banks yesterday.

Khor believes the listing is timely, coinciding with the implementation of major government projects such as the Mass Rapid Transit, which will further enhance the value of properties as well as create a sustainable property market in the Klang Valley.

Datuk Charon Wardini, deputy CEO for corporate and investment banking in CIMB Group, said the IPO marked another landmark achievement for the group.

CIMB is the principle adviser, sole bookrunner, managing underwriter and joint underwriter for the IPO exercise.

The listing of UOA Development means United Overseas Australia, which is listed in Australia and Singapore, will have two listed entities in Malaysia.

In December 2005, UOA Real Estate Investment Trust had offered 78 million shares at RM1.15 each to raise RM90 million under its IPO exercise. United Overseas Australia is the single largest shareholder of UOA REIT with a 35% stake.

UOA REIT closed at RM1.40 yesterday, having traded between RM1.33 and RM1.53 over the past year.

UOA Development is involved in property development, construction and property investment. Its projects are located in matured and prime locations within the Klang Valley.

Its ongoing portfolio includes RM2 billion worth of properties with a combined saleable and lettable area of over 300,000 sq m.

According to UOA Group's website, as at last year, the property development and investment entity has completed commercial, retail and residential projects with a combined gross development value (GDV) of about RM3.5 billion.

The group has a total landbank of more than 60 acres with a potential estimated GDV of RM8.6 billion over the next 10 years.

UOA REIT's investment portfolio includes six commercial properties valued at RM1.03 billion in the Klang Valley.

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