Johor Sultan surfaces as BAssets substantial shareholder

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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 2): The Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, has emerged as a substantial shareholder of Berjaya Assets Bhd (BAssets) with a 10.09% direct stake.

According to a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, the Johor ruler bought 80 million shares or a 6.7% stake in BAssets via direct business transaction last Wednesday.

The acquisition brought Sultan Ibrahim’s total shareholding in BAssets to 10.09% or 120 million shares.

This confirmed a report by The Edge Financial Daily on Thursday (Sept 28) that Sultan Ibrahim is expected to surface as a substantial shareholder of BAssets.

The seller of the shares is likely to be prominent tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun, who offloaded 80 million shares or a 6.7% stake in off-market on Wednesday (Sept 27).

Following the shares divestment, Tan still holds a controlling 56.22% stake in BAssets — of which 33.04% is direct interest and 23.19% deemed interest via Berjaya Corp Bhd — as at Sept 27.

Notably, Sultan Ibrahim has already invested in several companies in which Tan also has a stake. They are convenience store chain operator 7-Eleven Malaysia Holdings Bhd and telecom solutions provider REDtone International Bhd, as well as U Mobile Sdn Bhd — the country’s youngest telecommunications operator.

Ultimately controlled by Tan, BAssets is the developer of Berjaya Times Square in Kuala Lumpur — one of the country’s largest retail and commercial projects. The group also owns Natural Avenue Sdn Bhd, which operates number forecast lotteries in Sarawak.

BAssets has also obtained a licence agreement with Greyhound Café Co Ltd for exclusive rights to establish and operate cafes under the Greyhound Café trademark in Malaysia.