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Monday, April 11, 2011

Tradewinds seeks partners for mixed development project

KUALA LUMPUR: Tradewinds Corp Bhd (TCB), which plans to demolish the Crowne Plaza Mutiara Hotel and Kompleks Antarabangsa, to make way for a "multi-billion-ringgit" mixed commercial development, is in talks with several local and foreign parties to help finance the project.

Chairman Tan Sri Megat Najmuddin Megat Khas said it is looking for joint venture partners to develop the project.

"We are talking to property developers and funds both local and foreign," he told Business Times.

He hopes TCB will hold a majority stake in the joint venture that will develop the property.

TCB plans to bring down the hotel and the office building located on Jalan Sultan Ismail to make way for a "multi-billion-ringgit" mixed commercial development. The buildings sit on a 2.43ha plot.

In preparation for this eventuality which could take over another year, in April 2010, TCB's 85.1 per cent unit, Tradewinds Hotels & Resorts Sdn Bhd, entered into an agreement to sell Crowne Plaza to Symbolic Supreme Sdn Bhd for RM384 million.

Tradewinds owns 100 per cent of Symbolic Supreme. The transfer is to facilitate future development.

TCB has obtained the development order to go ahead and come out with detailed plans for development based on the allowed plot ratio.

It is looking at the possibility of building an office, retail and residence component on the land to provide the group with recurring income stream.

Megat Najmuddin said the building will be "something soaring" and would cost billions of ringgit.

Crowne Plaza is a 38-year-old building of 35-storeys and 565 rooms. It first opened as the Kuala Lumpur Hilton. It is now managed by the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) which may still have eight years remaining under the management contract.

Prior to IHG's management, Tradewinds managed the hotel on its own for a short period under the name Mutiara KL.

Kompleks Antarabangsa, meanwhile, is a 30-year-old building with 21 storeys of car parks. The net book value of the office is RM159.83 million, as at December 2009.

The building together with land may be worth an estimated RM1.5 billion, based on recent land deals.

By Business Times

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