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MRCB buys super prime German Embassy Land for RM259 million

[UPDATED]

MRCB surprised the market when it won the deal to buy the German Embassy Land in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.

Legasi Azam Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of MRCB Land Sdn Bhd, which in turn is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad (MRCB) will acquire the German Embassy Land at Jalan Kia Peng for a cash consideration of RM259,155,708.

Government-linked MRCB announced to Bursa Malaysia today that it had entered into a sale and purchase agreement with The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany to acquire the 1.8661 acres of freehold land together with all buildings erected thereon. (1.8661 acres, 7,552.119 m2 or 81,288 sq ft)

To recap, on 26 January 2015, MRCB had participated in an open tender called by the Vendor for the land, which is held under GRN 34211 Lot 94, Section 58 Bandar Kuala Lumpur. According to the land title sighted by PTLM, the land has no encumberances, express conditions and restrictions-in-interest.

The winner for the tender of another parcel, a much smaller plot, owned by the German government at Jalan Langgak Golf has not been announced, although both tenders closed on the same date.

The tender price of RM259,155,708 works out to RM3,188 psf. This is about 6% higher than the market value of the land based on the appraisal conducted by CH Williams Talhar & Wong and Raine & Horne International Zaki & Partners.

Upon completion of the deal and obtaining all necessary development approvals, MRCB is planning to kick off a mixed development project here next year with an indicative Gross Development Value (GDV) of between RM1.2 billion and RM1.6 billion.

Interestingly, the growing concerns of the scarcity of lands in the city have been proven by the overwhelming response shown and high offer price offered for any land that go on sale in Kuala Lumpur.

The Star reported recently that the Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) has shown interest to purchase the Former Lai Meng School Land owned by Magna Prima Berhad. The freehold property measuring 1.06ha, with a granted plot ratio of 1:12, is expected to be going between RM3,200 and RM3,500 psf.

The Star also reported that MRCB again was in the lead to purchase the French Embassy Land. The land, comprising two parcels, with a combined acreage of 7.98 acres along Jalan Ampang is said to be sold at around the same RM3,188 per sq ft. At that price, it will cost the company more than RM1.11 billion. There are two pieces of land involved in this French deal, one which has a residential title while the other is institutional land.

[UPDATE] The French Embassy Land was not sold to MRCB.

In November 2013, Singapore listed property developer, Oxley Holdings Ltd bought a 3.11-acre piece of freehold land in Jalan Ampang for RM3,300 psf, or RM446.7 million.

The German Embassy Land is located at Jalan Kia Peng on the periphery of Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) development, which is essentially the heart of Kuala Lumpur with the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre located a mere 100m away.

It is located closeby to the Petronas Twin Towers and other luxurious condominiums such as the upcoming Pavilion Banyan Tree Signatures Hotel & Residences, The RuMa Hotel & Residences, 8 Conlay (Kempinski Hotel & Residences) and Pavilion Suites Kuala Lumpur.

The land, which includes a house with attached ancillary buildings (staff quarters) and a swimming pool previously served as the official residence of the German Ambassador to Malaysia until June 2013.

Further down the road, MRCB Land is also planning to develop a 277-unit, 36-storey premium residential project called "The Grid, 21 Kia Peng" with a gross development value of RM300 million. This project will be built on a 1.006 acres of leasehold land parcel the company acquired in January 2011 for approximately RM760 psf.

Famed for being the master developer for Malaysia's largest transportation hub KL Sentral, MRCB is quickly making its mark in the Klang Valley high-end property market with several big ticket projects underway, such as Kwasa Sentral, PJ Sentral, Penang Sentral, 9 Seputeh and Taman Kajang Utama. 

In 2011, MRCB acquired a company, 59 iNC Sdn Bhd, giving MRCB the rights to develop 27.41 acres of land at the intersection between Jalan Ayer Keroh and Jalan Sultan Yahya Petra (formerly Jalan Semarak) in Mukim Setapak. The mixed development here will be complemented by an adjacent 25-acre parkland and contain more than 3,300 residential units. The project will be called Kota Semarak (Semarak City).  

MRCB is developing the remaining phases in KL Sentral such as The Sentral Residences and a future planned development called Eight Sentral while planning another adjacent project called Sentral Suites in Brickfields. MRCB is also building an office block known as Menara Perdana MRCB in Putrajaya.

Just before the German Embassy Land deal, MRCB had announced that it entered into a share swap agreement with DMIA Sdn Bhd whereby the former will transfer its 100% equity interest in Lotus Terrain Sdn Bhd to the latter. In exchange, DMIA will transfer its 30% state in Country Annexe Sdn Bhd to MRCB so that MRCB will have full control over the upcoming Sentral Suites development in Brickfields. 

In a separate proposal, MRCB will dispose of its 70% stake in Paradigma Berkat Sdn Bhd to DMIA for RM39 million, which will in turn allow DMIA to be fully in control of its business direction via Paradigma Berkat. That means, MRCB will no longer have an exposure to its previously proposed mixed development in Salak South measuring 24.5 acres.

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