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15th November 2016

EcoWorld & EPF enter landmark deal to jointly develop Eco Grandeur & Eco Business Park V

SHAH ALAM: Eco World Development Group Berhad (EW Berhad) announced today that it had entered into a subscription and shareholders agreement (SSA) with the Employees Provident Fund Board (EPF) to jointly develop 2,198.40 acres of leasehold land in the North-Western Klang Valley Corridor. The lands are slated to be developed into a mixed residential and commercial development to be known as Eco Grandeur and an integrated business park to be known as Eco Business Park V by Paragon Pinnacle Sdn Bhd (PPSB or JVCo), presently a wholly-owned subsidiary of EW Berhad.

Pursuant to the SSA, EPF will subscribe for 4 million ordinary shares representing 40% of the enlarged paid up capital of PPSB and provide shareholders advances of RM367 million to the JVCo to fund the proposed developments. EW Berhad (through a wholly owned subsidiary) will be appointed as the development manager for the projects which will be marketed as Signature EcoWorld developments pursuant to development management and brand licence agreements to be entered into with the JVCo.

“The subscription and shareholders agreement signed today is the culmination of months of hard work to arrive at a truly win-win partnership for both parties. Over the years we have had the privilege of working with the EPF on several occasions – we are delighted to be able to partner with them yet again to develop Eco Grandeur, the largest township undertaken by EcoWorld to date and Eco Business Park V, our first gated and guarded multi-concept business park in the Klang Valley,” said Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin, Chairman of EW Berhad.

Eco Grandeur was recently launched on 25 September 2016 as part of the Group’s EcoWorld’s Firsts campaign. The massive 1,400 acre development which has all the hallmarks of a Signature EcoWorld development – outstanding thematic architecture, lavish landscaping, excellent security, and signature landmarks – is designed to appeal both to first-time homeowners and upgraders.

For its first launch, Eco Grandeur offered the Graham Garden terraced homes and the Avenham Garden homes. Graham Garden consists of well-designed 20ft x 65ft terraced homes with starting prices below RM500,000 while Avenham Garden offers unique 30ft x 60ft garden homes priced around RM650,000. Response was overwhelming with 81% take-up recorded of the 830 units opened for sale on launch date.

Dato’ Chang Khim Wah, President and CEO of EW Berhad said: “We are tremendously encouraged by the extraordinary reception received by Eco Grandeur, which has managed to attract many young families as well as upgraders from all over the Klang Valley to come here in search of their dream home. This emerging corridor, which is strategically located near Sungai Buloh and Kota Damansara, with easy access to KL City Centre and the rest of the Klang Valley via five major existing and upcoming highways, is shaping up to become one of the most important development hotspots in the Klang Valley. Eco Grandeur’s positioning at its heart will enable it to contribute towards and benefit from the infrastructural improvement and population migration into the area to become the future commercial centre of the North-Western growth corridor.”

The success of Eco Grandeur’s maiden launch has laid a solid foundation for subsequent launches of the commercial and business park components which augurs well for the development prospects of the lands.

“Next year we plan to launch Eco Business Park V which will adapt the most successful concepts we have pioneered in Iskandar Malaysia to cater to business owners and industrialists in the Klang Valley,” said Chang.

To-date the Group has launched three successful business parks in Iskandar Malaysia. EcoWorld’s business park series offer a variety of Cluster, Semi-Detached, Detached and Customised units with an innovative flexi-space concept that synthesises retail, office, showroom and factory within a highly synergised secured environment.

“We are confident that Eco Business Park V will be extremely well-received. Apart from an ideal workplace with multiple intelligent green features specially developed to maximise efficiency, we also offer customers our proprietary ‘EBP one-stop business solution’ that helps owners, especially those based overseas, to set up their operations in Malaysia. This will boost local and foreign direct investment into the area which will drive significant job creation and contribute towards long-term economic growth and development of the State of Selangor,” said Chang.

Commenting on the partnership with EPF, Chang said: “At EcoWorld we strongly believe in forging partnerships and strategic alliances for growth. This is our second partnership with EPF to jointly develop a strategic project, the first being Bukit Bintang City Centre, and the third development we are undertaking via our partnership-for-growth model.”

EcoWorld’s partnership-for-growth model (Business Model) was formulated to enable the Group to gain access to prime lands as well as acquire and develop sizeable strategic lands without over-extending its balance sheet. The Business Model also enables EcoWorld to grow its fee-based recurring income stream through the development management and brand licence agreements with the JVCo.

“This Business Model enables us to deploy our expertise as a developer, the execution capabilities of our entire team along with EcoWorld’s strong brand and customer following to win the confidence of institutional investors to partner with us at the project level. We are humbled by the EPF’s confidence in us and will do our utmost to ensure that their faith in our abilities will be amply rewarded. We also look forward to more such ventures with the EPF or other like-minded partners to enable us to accelerate our growth and expand our development footprint whilst ensuring that our gearing is well-managed,” said Chang.

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