By THE STAR
PETALING JAYA: Mah Sing Group Bhd is eyeing 20 acres of prime land in Bangsar that Lever Brothers’ soap and margarine manufacturing plant was formerly located.
The site had been a famous landmark when Lever Brothers started operations there in 1947 until it moved out in 2003.
Steeped in history, it was reputed to be the largest factory in the country, creating job opportunities for hundreds of Malaysians then.
Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum … ‘We can build up a war chest of about RM1bil to purchase good prime land.’
The company, which changed its name to Unilever Holdings Sdn Bhd in 1994, now operates at Menara TM in Jalan Pantai Baru, Kuala Lumpur and has a food factory in Rawang producing dressings, spreads, seasonings and sauces.
The land’s location is very strategic and will be ideal for a good commercial development, according to Mah Sing group managing director cum group chief executive Tan Sri Leong Hoy Kum.
“We have expressed interest in the land and are negotiating for a fair value. Hopefully, the deal can be wrapped up by year-end,” he told StarBiz yesterday.
The proposed plan is to build some office towers, hotels and serviced residences on the plot.
If the deal goes through, Mah Sing will be able to further expand its presence in the commercial property sector.
A property valuer said the land could easily fetch between RM250 and RM300 per sq ft and should be worth between RM250mil and RM300mil.
Last year, Mah Sing acquired six pieces of land totaling 184 acres that brought its total landbank to 710 acres at end-2009.
The additional land has an estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM2.2bil. Its latest land deal was inked on Monday for 19 acres of industrial land in Shah Alam at a cost of RM45.5mil.
Mah Sing will also be exercising an option to purchase an additional 6.3 acres of commercial land next to its Garden Residence, Cyberjaya project for a total consideration of RM21.7mil, or at RM79 per sq ft.
It intends to develop a commercial development comprising lifestyle retail and serviced apartments on the land.
“With our healthy balance sheet, we can build up a war chest of about RM1bil to purchase good prime land that suits our fast project turnaround business model,” Leong said.
For the current financial year ending Dec 31, Mah Sing has targeted a 38% jump in the group’s property sales to RM1bil from RM727mil last year. It currently has 21 projects with remaining GDV and unbilled sales of RM5.8bil.
– Malaysia Property News dot net