Iskandar Waterfront plans Malaysia's biggest IPO since 2012

Iskandar Waterfront Holdings is in a joint venture working on the Bandar Malaysia project (above). The developer is preparing for an IPO to raise about RM5 billion (S$1.64 billion).
Iskandar Waterfront Holdings is in a joint venture working on the Bandar Malaysia project (above).PHOTO: BROADWAYMALYAN

KUALA LUMPUR • Iskandar Waterfront Holdings (IWH) has hired banks to help prepare for an initial public offering in Kuala Lumpur to raise about RM5 billion (S$1.64 billion), in what would be the biggest first-time share sale in the country since 2012.

The property firm is working with Bank of China, CIMB Group, Citic CLSA and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China on the planned IPO, executive vice-chairman Lim Kang Hoo said in an interview on Tuesday.

The developer plans to submit an application to the Malaysian regulator in two months, he said, adding that the potential share sale values IWH at more than RM20 billion.

It had aimed to list on the domestic bourse this year, but the plan has been pushed back to the second half of next year because of the pandemic, Tan Sri Lim said.

IWH may consider a second listing in mainland China or Hong Kong after it goes public in Kuala Lumpur, he said.

At RM5 billion, IWH's planned IPO would be the biggest since IHH Healthcare's RM6.3 billion sale in 2012.

It would also give a boost to the Malaysian market, which has seen the lowest sum raised through first-time share sales in the year to date since 2000, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

IWH, which counts Mr Lim and the state government of Johor as major shareholders, is the parent of listed real estate developer Iskandar Waterfront City.

The company also holds a stake in a joint venture working on the RM140 billion Bandar Malaysia development project, which is set to be the hub for a proposed high-speed rail line that would connect Kuala Lumpur to Singapore.

Bandar Malaysia was originally conceived under 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

When the fund was swamped by corruption probes, it tried to sell a major stake in the project to IWH and China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC), before cancelling the deal amid a dispute over payments in 2017.

Malaysia revived the project last year, selling IWH-CREC a 60 per cent stake.

 
 

IWH-CREC paid a RM1.24 billion deposit to the Malaysian government on Tuesday, which includes a RM500 million advance, thus completing its 10 per cent settlement for its stake in the property and transport hub, Mr Lim said.

It has until February 2022 to pay the remaining 90 per cent, he said.

Ekovest, a construction and engineering company controlled by Mr Lim and his family, is in exclusive negotiations to purchase 40 per cent of IWH's stake in the joint venture, according to an exchange filing on Sept 8.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 17, 2020, with the headline 'Iskandar Waterfront plans Malaysia's biggest IPO since 2012'. Print Edition | Subscribe