GuocoLand marks milestone expansion into UK & Australia and start of strategic partnership with Eco World
GuocoLand Limited (“GuocoLand”) marks its expansion into the new markets of the United Kingdom (“the UK”) and Australia as Eco World International Berhad (“EWI”) makes its trading debut on Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad (“Bursa Malaysia”) . A significant milestone in GuocoLand’s international expansion as it moves beyond Asia, the occasion marks the beginning of a strategic partnership with Eco World Development Group Berhad (“EWB”), a leading property developer listed on Bursa Malaysia.
GuocoLand and EWB are the two largest shareholders in EWI. Each holds an equal stake of 648 million ordinary shares, which represents 27.0% of EWI’s enlarged issued and paid-up share capital. With the combined strengths and capabilities of GuocoLand and EWB, reputable developers with proven track records, the collaboration will enable EWI to better compete, handle bigger projects and grow amid stiff competition. EWI currently has four development projects under construction in London and Sydney which have been well-received by the market. This also accelerates GuocoLand’s understanding and entry into the UK and Australia, while lowering the uncertainties arising from new ventures.
At the price of RM1.20 per IPO share, GuocoLand’s investment in EWI amounted to RM777.6 million (~S$246 million1 ). EWI’s IPO, which was the largest in Malaysia since June 2015, attracted substantial interest from international and Malaysian investors. The institutional offering was nine times covered, with shares allocated to 3 cornerstone investors, namely Permodalan Nasional Berhad, Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Diperbadankan) and Employees Provident Fund Board, and other Malaysian and foreign institutional and selected investors. The retail offering to the Malaysian public was oversubscribed by 8.87 times.
Mr Raymond Choong, GuocoLand Group President and Chief Executive Officer said, “GuocoLand marks an important milestone today with the listing of EWI and the start of our joint venture with EWB. Our strategic partnership with EWB in EWI represents concrete progress on our venture into the UK and Australia, to grow our business beyond Asia. We are very pleased with the successful debut of EWI which gives GuocoLand immediate exposure to the global gateway cities of London and Sydney. With the joint support of GuocoLand and EWB, EWI will be better positioned to grow its business in the two large and exciting markets. We are hopeful of EWI embarking on more high quality development projects and of GuocoLand building scale in the UK and Australia.”
EWI’s four development projects in London and Sydney have an estimated total gross development value of approximately £2.4 billion (~S$4.2 billion2 ). Situated in strategic locations offering good transportation links, well-planned concepts and innovative features, these projects have achieved strong take-up rates and substantially lowered project risks. As at 31 January 2017, the total contracted sales from the four projects are approximately £1.2 billion (~S$2.1 billion2 ).