New Straits Times, 20 March 2014 - Ecoworld to launch RM8b Klang project

New Straits Time, 20 March 2014

KUALA LUMPUR: Eco World Development Group Bhd, a company set up by former SP Setia Bhd's directors and executives, will launch EcoSanctuary, a new project in south Klang worth RM8 billion.

The project is part of Tropicana Corp Bhd's 468.8ha Tropicana Aman development, which was previously known as Canal City.

Eco World is acquiring 123.5ha from Tropicana for RM470.67 million, or RM35 per square feet.

Trading of Eco World and Tropicana shares was suspended yesterday from 2.30pm to 5pm.

Prior to the suspension, Eco World rose two sen, or 0.4 per cent, to RM4.69, while Tropicana was up five sen, or 3.6 per cent, to RM1.43.

Both parties expect to conclude the land deal in the second half of this year.

Tropicana said in a statement that it will gain RM170 million from the land sale, which will translate into incremental net earnings per share of 12 sen for fiscal year 2014.

Its group executive vice-chairman Tan Sri Danny Tan Chee Sing said the sale is to unlock the value of the sizeable landbank and monetise assets to boost its balance sheet. Meanwhile, Eco World president and chief executive officer Datuk Chang Khim Wah said the deal is in line with its strategy to replenish its landbank in major growth corridors to expand its operations.

He said Eco World would be able to launch the project after completion of the deal as the land comes with an approved development order.

Chang said the eight-year project, which will feature eco-themed mixed residential and commercial properties, is expected to start by year-end.

EcoSanctuary will be the company's maiden township launch in the lang Valley under the Eco World brand.

Eco World has been busy buying land since last year and now has 1,214ha in Greater Kuala Lumpur, Johor and Penang with estimated gross development value of RM30 billion.

Business Times reported recently that Eco World is participating in a request for proposal by Penang Development Corp to buy 190ha on a hillock close to the landing point of the new bridge crossing between Batu Kawan and Batu Maung on Penang island.