Jersey, Channel Islands, 4 July 2012 A Malaysian consortium comprising Sime Darby Berhad, S P Setia Berhad and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) have acquired London s iconic Battersea Power Station for ?400 million.
The three parties formally entered into a joint venture agreement on Wednesday, 4 July 2012, in Jersey, Channel Islands to form the Battersea Project Holding Company Limited (BPHCL). Sime Darby and S P Setia each has a 40% stake in BPHCL, while the EPF has the remaining 20%. BPHCL s wholly owned subsidiary Battersea Project Land Company Ltd subsequently signed the sale and purchase agreement with the Joint Administrators and Receivers, Alan Bloom and Alan Hudson of Ernst & Young LLP ( EY ).
Four weeks ago on 7 June 2012, Sime Darby and S P Setia had entered into an exclusivity agreement with the Joint Administrators and Receivers after the two partners had been identified as the preferred bidders for the Battersea project following an intense international bidding process conducted by EY and Knight Frank LLP, United Kingdom. In their respective announcements to Bursa Malaysia today, the Boards of Directors of S P Setia and Sime Darby expressed their confidence in the project and the prospects of the joint venture.
London is a strategic and important target destination for property investment and development. As such, the Battersea project represents an excellent opportunity for us and our partners to expand our footprint into a key international market, said Dato Mohd Bakke Salleh, Sime Darby s President & Group Chief Executive.
Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin, President and CEO of S P Setia added: The Battersea Power Station site is undoubtedly London s most important and central urban regeneration site. This is truly a golden opportunity for the partners to make our mark as global property players.
BPHCL plans to implement the approved master development plan for the Battersea site which was drawn up by award-winning architect Rafael Vi?oly. The plan includes a sustainable mixed development comprising residential and commercial units while the power plant with its iconic chimneys will be conserved and preserved. The Gross Development Value (GDV) of the 15-year project is expected to be approximately ?8 billion.
The project is expected to see strong capital growth as it will be part of the strategic Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea Opportunity Area Planning Framework, the largest urban redevelopment area in central London. An extension of the Northern Line underground network will also transform the area with two new stations within the development.
Sharing the Malaysian parties development vision for the project, Liew said: The Opportunity Area is expected to create 25,000 new jobs and the Power Station building will be at the heart of it all, so it is important that this iconic and renowned Grade II*-listed structure is properly restored and brought back to its old grandeur.
We also believe that the construction of the Northern Line extension is fundamental to the success of this regeneration project. As such we intend to actively support Transport for London and Wandsworth Council in their efforts to implement and make this essential infrastructure a reality, he added.
The Battersea Power Station site is located in the heart of London, on the south bank of the River Thames in the vicinity of Westminster. The 39.1 acre site is situated in the north east corner of the London Borough of Wandsworth and represents possibly one of the last few opportunities for such an important development in London.
Sime Darby expressed its confidence that the joint venture will establish Sime Darby Property as a major player and a top brand in the industry. The joint venture is part of the Sime Darby Group s strategy to strengthen its Property Division as a core business by embarking on niche developments in high growth international markets. The Battersea project will drive Sime Darby Property s effort to achieve 20% income contribution from its overseas operations, Mohd Bakke said.
For S P Setia, the Battersea acquisition is part of its strategy to seek out good opportunities in selected international markets to expand its operations, in line with its long-term objective to become a global property player. At present, the Group has presence in Vietnam, Singapore, Australia, China and Indonesia.
Liew said the current dynamics of the London real estate market was extremely attractive and the city is close to the hearts of many Malaysians. We are optimistic that the Battersea project, which we hope to develop over the next 15 years, is going to be a significant success and that the development will be the catalyst for strong rental and capital growth in the area.
Through its many projects in Malaysia and overseas, S P Setia has cultivated relationships with an increasing number of local and international high net-worth customers who are seeking investment grade properties. The joint venture with Sime Darby and EPF, both of whom have their own wide network of customers and strong following, further improves the project s prospects.
With the combined strong branding and impeccable reputation of our joint venture partners, I am confident that much of the first launch, which we hope will take place during the first half of 2013, will be taken up by our own customers and network of supporters. This will give other buyers, both from within and outside the UK, the confidence to invest in future phases of the project. From there we intend to build a truly cosmopolitan customer base thereby further strengthening S P Setia s branding in international markets and extending our market reach Liew said.
The joint venture allows the two development partners to leverage on their individual strengths acquired over years of experience both in their home market in Malaysia and the various foreign countries the two companies have operated in, Mohd Bakke concurred. He added: With the EPF s involvement, the joint venture has the additional financial muscle required to deliver this complex project in London.
Both S P Setia and Sime Darby are Gold Winners in the Reader s Digest Trusted Brands Award for two consecutive years since 2011. The award is voted by consumers across eight markets covering 43 categories in each market to find out which brands consumers trust. The EPF is Malaysia s largest pension fund. It is also the world s ninth biggest pension fund in 2010 according to a Towers Watson report. With investment assets of RM489 billion as at 31 March 2012, it has increased its exposure in real estate by investing with best in class property groups.
Liew added: With Sime Darby and EPF as partners we have a consortium which is highly reputable and financially sound. More importantly, we all share a common vision for the redevelopment of Battersea together with a deep understanding of what is required to fully maximise and extract value from the redevelopment of this historic and iconic site .
For media enquiries, please contact:
Head, Corporate Communications
S P Setia Berhad
Tel: +603 3344 8800 ext 326
HP: +6012 234 0159
Group Head, Group Communications & Corporate Affairs
Sime Darby Berhad
HP: +6019 213 2236
About S P Setia
S P Setia is one of the leading property developers in Malaysia. Founded in 1974, the Group refocused its business from construction to property development in 1996 and has gone from strength to strength both in Malaysia and internationally. To date the Group has won four international FIABCI Prix d Excellence Awards and five FIABCI Malaysia Property Awards in addition to being ranked No.1 in The Edge Malaysia Top Property Developers Awards six times.
About Sime Darby
Sime Darby is a Malaysia-based, diversified multinational employing over 100,000 people in more than 20 countries. They are involved in key growth sectors, including: property, motors, industrial equipment, energy & utilities and healthcare. Founded in 1910, its business divisions seek to create positive benefits in the economy, environment and society where it has a presence.
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