Focal Aims buyers expect the company to become the next SP Setia

PETALING JAYA: Bursa Malaysia’s top gainer Johor based-developer Focal Aims Holdings Bhd hit limit-up for the second consecutive day, surging 39 sen or 31.5% from the closing price of RM1.24 a day earlier after the emergence of prospective shareholders who are former directors of SP Setia Bhd.

Dealers said opportunists might be buying into Focal Aims, expecting that it would morph into “the next SP Setia”, given the names behind Eco World Development Holdings Sdn Bhd (EWDH).

He was quick to caution that the deal, however, is conditional and the offerors had one month to do their due diligence before it is firm.

Said an analyst: “I think this is a positive development as Focal Aims seems to be a good fit for Eco World. The former has a clean balance sheet and a sizeable landbank.”

The analyst also pointed out that Focal Aims’ landbank, which is largely in the southern part of the country, was where the strength of some of the key personnel in Eco World lay.

Eco World chief executive officer Datuk Chang Khim Wah was instrumental in setting up SP Setia’s Johor office during his stint in the latter.

In a report, Maybank Investment Bank Research analyst Wong Wei Sum said Focal Aims’ share price should continue to react positively with the emergence of new controlling shareholders.

“The buyout effectively makes Focal Aims the listed vehicle for Eco World, a fast-growing developer in Malaysia.

To recap, Focal Aims had on Tuesday announced that EWDH, which controls 50% of Eco World Development Sdn Bhd, and which is owned by former SP Setia directors Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Manaf and Datuk Eddy Leong Kok Wah, along with Liew Tian Xiong, had signed a conditional share sale pact of 164.78 million Focal Aims shares or a 65.05% stake for RM230.69mil. Tian Xiong is Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin’s eldest son.

They said the purchase of the controlling stake could work out to a reverse takeover (RTO) whereby Eco World would subsequently inject some of its assets into the listed company.

The projected gross development value of RM30bil by the “new kid on the block”, required the relatively new property developer to explore more channels for fund raising, including tapping into the equities market to raise capital, an observer said.

The development had caught some by surprise as earlier talks were that water treatment specialist Salcon Bhd would be the RTO vehicle for Eco World, which has the landbank comparable to some of the “big boys” in the property sector.

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