1MDB's KL Bandar Malaysia project eyed by local and foreign developers

Several top local and foreign developers who have projects in Malaysia, have made known their interest in 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) Bandar Malaysia project here.

A statement from transaction adviser CH Williams Talhar & Wong said they received “strong interest”, with some “40 parties, including some consortiums”, answering the project’s call for expression of interest after the July 10 deadline.

Local interest came from major developers and government-linked companies. It is learnt that among the names are S P Setia Bhd, Mah Sing Group Bhd, Sime Darby Bhd and Gamuda Bhd.

On the foreign front, Sydney-based Lend Lease Corp Limited, a property and infrastructure company, has also expressed interest. Lend Lease has already entered into a joint venture to develop a 17-acre RM8bil mixed-commercial development known as the Lifestyle Quarter in 1MDB’s Tun Razak Exchange (TRX).

Foreign interest also came from developers and foreign state investment corporations from China, Japan, South Korea and Singapore. Among the names are Mitsui Fudosan Co Ltd of Japan and Singapore’s CapitaLand Ltd.

Mitsui Fudosan has a joint venture with Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd for a development in Sepang and another with Eastern & Oriental Bhd in Johor.

Capitaland has several projects here. After evaluating the proposals, CH Williams, 1MDB Real Estate Sdn Bhd’s (1MDB RE) transaction adviser, would make its recommendation to the board.

The statement said shortlisted pre-qualified investors will then receive the Investment Memorandum which details Bandar Malaysia’s development vision and proposed master plan.

On June 22, 1MDB RE took out an advertisment calling for expression of interest to develop the 486 acres in Sungai Besi called Bandar Malaysia. 1MDB RE, a wholly owned subsidiary of 1MDB, is the master developer.

The parcel of land now houses the Sungai Besi airfield and other government facilities such as the army and police air wings. The plan is for the interested parties to form a consortium to develop the land.

1MDB has several parcels. Among the two largest in the Klang Valley are the 70-acre TRX and Bandar Malaysia. It also has land in Air Itam, Penang.

According to a June 30 1MDB statement, the plan was to appoint a real estate consultant to evaluate several proposals to buy its Penang and Pulau Indah, Selangor real estate assets.

As for the two parcels in the city, the process of monetising the land has been put in motion, with different strategies being used for Bandar Malaysia and TRX.

In TRX, the strategy involves a Lend Lease joint venture and outright land sale. It also sold 1.56 acres to Lembaga Tabung Haji for RM188.5mil, or RM2,780 per square foot in June. The same month, 1MDB RE also signed a sale and purchase agreement with Indonesia’s Mulia Group for the development rights of Signature Tower, a 3.44-acre parcel in TRX.

That transaction was valued at RM665mil. There are about 20 parcels of land in TRX in total.

On the other hand, the strategy at Bandar Malaysia will be equity partnership, instead of joint ventures or outright land sales, said CH Williams last month when submissions of interests were issued. - By The Star