The Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Ismail Sultan Iskandar, has acquired a 20% stake in Berjaya Times Square Sdn Bhd (BTSSB) for RM250 million cash or RM1.67 per share, a move that will raise immediate cash for the commercial property company and a sign of the Sultan’s growing interest in corporate Malaysia.
BTSSB, a wholly owned subsidiary of Berjaya Assets Bhd controlled by billionaire Tan Sri Vincent Tan, owns and manages Berjaya Times Square, a commercial property in Kuala Lumpur, and Berjaya Waterfront, a property in Johor that includes a 400-room hotel.
The price for the 20% stake values these properties at about RM1.25 billion. The RM250 million cash consideration will be payable within 14 days of the share sale agreement.
“It is a good deal for both the parties. It’s fast cash for Berjaya and the price paid is relatively cheap,” a realtor based in Kuala Lumpur told The Malaysian Reserve yesterday.
In an announcement to the stock exchange yesterday, Berjaya Assets said it is disposing 150 million ordinary shares of RM1 each in BTSSB, representing a 20% equity interest in the company.
“The disposal represents an opportunity for Berjaya Assets to raise immediate cash and invite Sultan Ibrahim to invest directly in BTSSB, which will enable Sultan Ibrahim to participate more actively in the future direction and developments of the BTSSB Group,” the company said.
It said the RM250 million cash proceed will be utilised by the Berjaya Assets for working capital requirements and future investments.
The stake sale will realise an exceptional gain of about RM7.02 million to Berjaya Assets at company level and an exceptional loss of RM149.15 million at Berjaya Assets group level, which will reduce the retained earnings by the same amount.
This is the second major deal involving both parties. In May this year, the Sultan raised his stake in the broadband and WiFi service provider Redtone Network Sdn Bhd, another Berjaya-linked company, to 51% for RM315,000 cash.
For billionaire Tan, the deal comes shortly after he successfully listed his interest in Berjaya Auto Bhd on Bursa Malaysia but failed to do the same (by choice or due to regulators ruling) with Berjaya Sports Toto Trust, 7-Eleven Bhd and Cardiff Football Club that plays in the English Premier League.
The Malaysian billionaire is reported to be now looking at listing the Welsh club on the Singapore Stock Exchange while other assets like MOL Access Portal Bhd and U-Mobile Sdn Bhd may be listed on Bursa in the near future.