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6th September 2023

EcoWorld Malaysia Ramps Up Its Industrial Portfolio with Acquisition of 403.78 Acres in Kulai, Iskandar Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Eco World Development Group Berhad (“EcoWorld Malaysia”) announced today that it had entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement with IOI Prima Property Sdn Bhd to acquire 403.78 acres of land located in Mukim Senai, Daerah Kulai, Negeri Johor for a purchase consideration of RM211.065 million to be settled in cash.

The land is strategically located, easily accessible through the North-South Highway (situated 5 km from the Kulai Toll) and enjoys good connectivity to the Second-Link Expressway, Senai-Desaru Highway, Pasir Gudang Highway, Senai International Airport and various sea ports. It is also surrounded by matured townships that are well served by various amenities.

The Group plans to develop the land into a business park to be known as Eco Business Park VI (“EBP VI”) with an estimated gross development value of RM1.58 billion, catering to medium and light industrial businesses. Business owners and investors will be able to enjoy EcoWorld’s one-stop industrial solutions providing modern facilities and comprehensive services to assist them in setting up their operations quickly and seamlessly. A variety of space customisation and built-to-suit options that are designed to maximise efficiency with minimum resources wastage will also be available.

Commenting on the acquisition Dato’ Chang Khim Wah, President & CEO of EcoWorld Malaysia said, “This is a very opportune acquisition which enables the Group to ramp up our industrial portfolio in Iskandar Malaysia. Sales at our Eco Business Parks have seen exponential growth with a 3-year CAGR of 51% recorded from FY2020 – FY2022. The upward trajectory has continued this year with RM838 million achieved in just 7 months of FY2023 from our four Eco Business Parks alone. This represents 111% of FY2022 full year sales of RM753 million from our industrial projects, which was a record high at that time”
“The strong industrial growth we have been experiencing was contributed by both local and international customers. Local business owners who had successfully reinvented themselves were able to compete and gain market share during the pandemic, giving them great confidence to invest in acquiring new premises. From April 2022, following the reopening of the country’s borders, enquiries from foreign industrialists intensified, which we were able to translate into several notable sales, thus adding on to the already strong demand from local businesses.” he continued.

Underpinning the robust demand for industrial land is the high level of approved investments. In 2022, total approved investments in Malaysia amounted to RM264.6 billion, surpassing both the annual average of RM217.59 billion from 2013 to 2021 and the pre-pandemic investment of RM211.4 billion in 2019. The top two states, i.e. Johor and Selangor, accounted for approximately 49% of the country’s total approved investments in 2022.

The Malaysian Government’s recently launched New Industrial Masterplan 2030 (NIMP 2030), will provide a further boost for manufacturing activities. This comprehensive master plan sets a clear direction over 7 years to build Malaysia’s industrial capacity and resilience for long-term, sustainable and inclusive growth.

“The NIMP 2030’s focus on nurturing industries with higher economic complexity, aggressively embracing technology, prioritising sustainability and inclusivity resonates with our development ethos.

Our Eco Business Parks have all been designed with multiple intelligent green features, a wide array of business solutions, innovative flexi-space and customisable concepts as well as synergistic smart facilities sharing with the aim of making them sustainable integrated industrial hubs of the future. These have enabled us to attract a large number of technologically advanced, innovative businesses, who share our commitment to sustainable development, to establish their manufacturing facilities at our projects,” said Chang.

Malaysia is well positioned to become a key destination for investors looking to diversify out of China and the US as part of the evolving global value chain transformation and the NIMP 2030 is aimed at positioning Malaysia to capitalise on such strategic opportunities. The NIMP 2030 also recognises the need for strategic measures to facilitate domestic investments.

With the Malaysian Government’s push to intensify foreign and domestic direct investments as well as drive industry transformation through NIMP 2030, the Group expects that industrial demand will experience sustained growth going forward.

“We firmly believe that the growth momentum in Iskandar Malaysia, in particular, will continue unabated as it is backed by extensive infrastructure improvement, most notably the ongoing construction of the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS Link). With a capacity to carry 10,000 passengers per hour in each direction and a commute time of only 6 minutes between the Bukit Chagar Station in Malaysia and Woodlands North Station in Singapore, it will be a real game-changer when it is completed. The availability of such a high capacity, fast and efficient transportation system between the two countries will significantly boost economic and commercial activities in Iskandar Malaysia resulting in increased demand for industrial, commercial as well as residential properties,” opined Chang.

EcoWorld Malaysia is well-placed to benefit from the positive news flow surrounding Iskandar Malaysia given that it has numerous township projects there, namely Eco Botanic, Eco Botanic 2, Eco Spring and Eco Summer as well as Eco Tropics. With the addition of the new land, the Group will also have five sizeable industrial parks, comprising four in Iskandar Malaysia (EBP 1, II, III & VI) and one in Selangor (EBP V).

“Our total industrial landbank following the latest acquisition has increased to 2,416 acres of which 1,647 acres is situated in Iskandar Malaysia. Over the years, we have worked hard to cultivate strategic alliances with business, trade and governmental bodies that have strengthened and expanded our network of local, international and multi-national industrialists. These efforts along with our responsiveness in expanding and adapting our product range to meet the changing demands of businesses that we serve have contributed to the strong sales achieved. With the acquisition of the new land, we will be able to further grow our market share and cater to a wider range of industrial customers. Accordingly, we are confident that this acquisition augurs well for the Group’s future growth and earnings prospects,” Chang said.

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