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Thursday, June 26, 2008

CapitaLand buys 62pc of Sungei Wang's retail area

The Singapore-based CapitaLand Ltd has bought 62 per cent of the retail area at Sungei Wang Plaza for RM595 million.

The purchase covers 510,418 million sq ft retail area and parking bays at the mall, which enjoys close to 100 per cent occupancy and more than 24 million visitors annually.

CapitaLand, which is also the largest real estate company in Southeast Asia, had undertaken an asset securitisation structure for the purpose, which its spokesperson said was the most suitable platform at the moment.

"This asset base structure the company has decided upon is the most optimum capital structure for the purpose," the spokesperson told Business Timess yesterday.

The mall is held by a special purpose vehicle, Vast Winners Sdn Bhd, which has issued three tranches of senior medium- term notes and a tranche of subordinated Class D medium- term notes.

Under the exercise, CapitaLand subsidiary Gain 888 Investments Pte Ltd has fully subscribed to the subordinated Class D medium-term notes, worth about RM338 million, which are under equity bond.

The remaining Class A, B and C medium-term notes, which fall under debt, are undertaken by a Malaysian financial institution.

Commenting on the acquisition, chief executive officer Pua Seck Guan said the purchase puts CapitaLand's plan to create a Malaysian retail real estate investment trust (REIT) this year on track.

CapitaLand had earlier bought Gurney Plaza in Penang and Mines Shopping Fair in Seri Kembangan, near Kuala Lumpur. Collectively, the three assets amount to approximately RM2 billion.

"Through our proactive management and by leveraging on our retail real estate management expertise, there are tenancy remixing opportunities to create significant value at Sungei Wang," Pua said in a statement.

Last year, Landmarks Bhd sold Sungei Wang Plaza for RM284.8 million cash to Kencana Property Management Sdn Bhd, which is 70 per cent owned by Abdul Jaliludin Jamalludin and 30 per cent by Simon Wee Howe Yew.

Opened in 1977, the eleven-storey mall has over 824,000 sq ft retail area, more than 800 retail outlets and 1,300 parking bays.

By New Straits Times (by Zurinna Raja Adam)

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