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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sentoria plans 2nd theme park

More visibility: Sentoria joint MD Datuk Jimmy Chan (left) and Gan at the launch of the company’s prospectus. Gan says a listing on the stock market would make it easier for the company to attract potential investors and business partners.

KUALA LUMPUR: Property developer, and leisure and hospitality company Sentoria Group Bhd, which aims to raise RM51.6mil from its initial public offering (IPO), intends to invest the bulk of the proceeds on a second theme park in its Bukit Gambang Resort City (BGRC) in Kuantan, Pahang.

Sentoria joint managing director Datuk Gan Kim Leong said that the company had allocated a capital expenditure (capex) of RM48mil for a Safari Park, which would boost the number of visitors to BGRC.

“The park will open in stages from the end of this year,” he said at the launch of the company's prospectus yesterday.

Sentoria public and investor relations head Nasiruddin Nasrun said he was optimistic the Safari Park, spanning 35.7ha in Gambang's secondary jungle, would follow the success of the company's first theme park, known as Bukit Gambang Water Park, which had already attracted more than one million visitors since BGRC's opening in July 2009. Sentoria is the developer and operator of BGRC.

According to Gan, the hospitality business contributed about 30% to Sentoria's total earnings, with the balance 70% coming from its property development division.

Nasiruddin said the company expected to grow the contribution from the hospitality business to 50% by the time BGRC was completely developed in 2018.

“But we do expect to reach 50% much earlier, perhaps in the next couple of years,” he said.

Gan said a listing on the stock market would enable the company to create more visibility and make it easier to attract potential investors and business partners.

He also said it was timely to float the company despite the current global economic uncertainties. “We cannot foresee if the global economy will be good or bad, so any time is the best time,” Gan said.

Nasiruddin added that Sentoria was no stranger to an “economic downturn”.

“We embarked on BGRC during the global financial crisis in 2007 and 2008. So, we are no stranger to economic downturns,” he said.

Apart from the capex, the balance IPO proceeds will be used to repay bank borrowings and defray listing expenses.

En route to a listing on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia by the first quarter of this year, Sentoria's IPO entails a public issue of 60 million new shares and an offer for sale of 40 million promoters' shares.

Of the 60 million public shares, 20 million are allocated for public balloting and 10 million for eligible directors, employees and business associates of the group at a price of 85 sen each. About 30 million shares will be allocated for private placement at 87 sen apiece.

The 40 million promoters' shares allocated for bumiputra investors are priced at 87 sen each.

AmInvesment Bank Bhd is the principal adviser, managing underwriter and joint placement agent for the IPO, while Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd is the joint placement agent.

By The Star

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