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Eco World seeks to raise 2 bn ringgit in IPO

Dec 11. 2015
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By THE STAR
ASIA NEWS NETWORK
K

PROPERTY DEVELOPER Eco World International Bhd (EWI), which focuses on projects outside Malaysia, has set a target to raise 2 billion ringgit in its initial public offering (IPO) next year.

President and chief executive officer Datuk Teow Leong Seng said the company was in the process of submitting its IPO application to the Securities Commission, which it hopes can be finalised in the first half of next year.

The company, which will see Eco World Development Group Bhd taking up a 30 per cent stake upon the listing, will use the proceeds mainly on its ongoing projects in London and Australia.

The public will hold a significant portion of the remaining 70 per cent stake.

EWI is a special-purpose vehicle set up by the Eco World group in 2013 to acquire real estate assets overseas for development.

“We need the working capital to expand our bases in those locations before looking further into other markets,” Teow told a press briefing on the group’s financial year-end results on Thursday.

“London has displayed a shortage of good sites to develop.

“However, the city continues to grow with an increase in employment rates. Both the London and Australian markets are expected to do well in the coming year,” he said.

In a move seen to reduce conflict, Eco World and EWI have agreed to grant each other a first right of refusal to acquire, purchase or develop any investment opportunities overseas.

For instance, should Eco World buy a piece of land overseas, the entity will grant a right of refusal to EWI to buy or develop the land.

The same applies to EWI in that Eco World will have the first right of refusal should a piece of land in Malaysia be identified.

Should either party decide to not exercise this right, they may opt to develop the properties together by way of a joint-venture (JV) agreement.

Major shareholders in this exercise are the group’s chairman Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin, a non-independent non-executive director of Eco World, his son Liew Tian Xiong, an executive director of the company and Eco World executive director and chief financial officer Datuk Heah Kok Boon.

Eco World said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia that the “interested directors” had abstained and would continue to abstain from all deliberations and voting in respect of the proposals at the relevant meetings of the board.

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