Syed Mokhtar’s firm buys S P Setia’s Tebrau land for RM564 mil cash

KUALA LUMPUR (June 11): S P Setia Bhd (KL:SPSETIA), which previously failed to sell its 959.72-acre Tebrau land to Scientex Bhd (KL:SCIENTX) due to Bumiputera requirement issues, has finally sold the plot to a company linked to tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary for RM564 million, cash.

S P Setia first tried to sell the land to Scientex in 2021 for RM518.1 million, but the deal fell through in March 2023 after Scientex failed to obtain a waiver of the Bumiputera equity condition imposed by the Economic Planning Unit (EPU). Four months later, both parties revisited the deal with an increased price of RM547.65 million. That was aborted in January this year after Scientex again failed to gain the EPU’s approval.

In a statement on Tuesday, S P Setia said the disposal of the land was conducted through its subsidiary Pelangi Sdn Bhd and was completed earlier in the day with Senibong Island Sdn Bhd (SISB).

“By unlocking the value of this asset, the deal enhances the company’s financial standing, contributing to an expected profit after tax of RM332 million,” said S P Setia.

A quick check on the Companies Commission of Malaysia showed that SISB is linked to Syed Mokhtar, based on filings dated end-June 2023.

SISB is owned by two shareholders: Sigma Senibina Sdn Bhd with a 49% stake and WM Senibong Sdn Bhd with a 51% stake.

Sigma Senibina is wholly owned by Kelana Ventures Sdn Bhd, a company owned by Syed Mokhtar.

Sigma Senibina also holds 1.74 million shares, representing a 37.82% stake, in WM Senibong.

“This successful transaction complements our de-gearing efforts, which are happening according to plan and shall contribute to our future growth,” said S P Setia president and chief executive officer Datuk Choong Kai Wai in the statement.

“By efficiently managing our capital structure, channelling resources into fast-developing projects, rationalising our cost structure, and directly boosting our bottom line, Setia is better positioned for expansion and long-term sustainability,” it added.

In tandem with this, Choong said the group continues to direct its efforts into other revenue streams via land bank management, making its mark in industrial development and continuing with regional expansion in Vietnam and Australia to broaden its income base, in addition to its strong execution of township projects in line with market demand.

S P Setia’s share price settled unchanged at RM1.48, for a market capitalisation of RM7.03 billion. Year-to-date, the stock has rallied 85%.

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