GuocoLand in bid to develop UM land?

By BUSINESS TIMES

GUOCOLAND (Malaysia) Bhd, a property developer controlled by Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan, has made a bid to relocate University Malaya from Petaling Jaya to Sepang, sources said yesterday.

As part of the plan, GuocoLand will then own the land in Petaling Jaya and develop it into a commercial and residential township. The proposal is based on a private finance initiative.

A company source said such a development is estimated to have a gross development value of RM10 billion.

GuocoLand officials declined to comment on the plan.

If the bid is approved, the development in Petaling Jaya will complement GuocoLand’s planned RM1.2 billion Damansara City development project.

The Damansara project is due to be launched this year.

Guocoland’s share price rose by 30 sen or 10 per cent to close at a 10-year high of RM3.26 yesterday. The stock has gained 87.3 per cent over the last six trading days.

There is speculation in the market that Quek may take the company private. On being queried, however, the company told Bursa Malaysia last Friday that it was not aware of such a thing.

GuocoLand has a 4,860-hectare landbank in Sepang.

Part of the land is being used by GuocoLand to develop the Pantai Sepang Putra project, where it plans to build seafront villas and waterfront bungalows.

A Hong Leong Group spokesperson also declined comment.

University Malaya, the country’s oldest university, has its main campus that sprawls from the heart of Petaling Jaya right up to the footsteps of Bangsar.

The Hong Leong Group had in 2000, donated 40.5 hectares of land at Sepang to the New Era College to build a branch campus, while other firms have proposed the setting up of a medical university in Sepang, in line with the Government’s plan to turn Sepang into an university city.

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