PETALING JAYA: Eco World Development Group Bhd (EcoWorld Malaysia) has proposed to acquire 13 parcels of land totalling 97.25 hectares in Iskandar Puteri, Johor, to develop a mixed residential and commercial township with a preliminary estimated gross development value of RM3.88 billion.

The proposed development would comprise affordable products (both high-rise and landed) suitable for first-time home buyers and the M40 target group, the property developer said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia.

EcoWorld Malaysia said its wholly-owned subsidiary Eco Botanic 3 Sdn Bhd had entered into two conditional agreements with Permodalan Darul Ta’zim Sdn Bhd (PDT) and Iskandar Investment Bhd’s indirect unit River Retreat Sdn Bhd to acquire and develop the freehold land.

Under the conditional development agreement with PDT, the Johor government-controlled investment firm has agreed to nominate Eco Botanic 3 to buy the new land from River Retreat and for Eco Botanic 3 to develop it.

“PDT’s role under the development agreement is to provide support and cooperation to Eco Botanic 3 and to use its best endeavours to assist the latter and facilitate the process of applying for and obtaining the necessary development approvals for the proposed development,” it said.

Meanwhile, it said the sale and purchase agreement with River Retreat is for the acquisition of the freehold land for RM450.13 million.

“The proposed land acquisition marks the second land acquisition in Iskandar Malaysia by the group within the span of less than five months.

“This will further strengthen EcoWorld Malaysia’s market-leading position in the southern state, one of the fastest-growing property hotspots in the country,” it said.

EcoWorld Malaysia said the new land, located next to the EcoWorld group’s matured townships Eco Botanic and Eco Botanic 2, would enable the group to ride on and contribute towards Iskandar Malaysia’s strong growth momentum.

“The new land is also highly accessible and situated in a prime location within a matured catchment that has established amenities.

“Coupled with EcoWorld’s execution track record in Iskandar Malaysia as well as support from PDT and River Retreat, the board is therefore confident that the proposed development will be well received and this augurs well for the group’s future growth and earnings prospects,” it added.

The proposals are not expected to have an immediate material impact on the net assets and gearing of EcoWorld Malaysia for the financial year ending Oct 31, 2024, as the proposed land acquisition is only expected to be completed by the end of calendar year 2024.

However, it said, the proposed land acquisition is expected to enhance the net assets of the group in the future given the potential future profits contribution arising from the proposed development.

“The effects of the proposed development on the group’s gearing will depend on the eventual funding mix,” it said.

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