Malaya Acid seeks to sell PJ land for RM300 mil

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This article first appeared in Corporate, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on September 26 - October 2, 2016.

 

HONG Kong-based Malaya Acid Works Sdn Bhd is putting a 17.26-acre land parcel it owns along the Federal Highway in Petaling Jaya on the market for an estimated RM300 million or RM400 psf.

The sale, if done, would be the third transaction of prime factory cum office land within a 3km radius in less than a year, following that by Linde Malaysia Sdn Bhd and British American Tobacco (M) Bhd (BAT).

Malaya Acid’s land at Lot 17 Jalan 219 was once part of the group’s operation in the production of sulphuric acid, which is believed to have shut down a couple of years ago. The parcel, which is somewhat triangular in shape, is made up of four adjacent plots on a lease that expires in 2067.

Offering 751,787 sq ft for redevelopment, the site lies next to Hong Leong Assurance Bhd’s head office on one side and Cycle & Carriage Bintang Bhd’s Mercedes-Benz showroom on the other. In the same row as the parcel are Avon Malaysia’s headquarters and Naza World Automall.

A check at the site reveals that international property consultant Rahim & Co is handling the sale.

When contacted by The Edge, Rahim & Co director Robert Ang confirms that it was recently hired as the exclusive agent for the sale, although industry players say the land has been on the market for about a year or two.

Ang says Rahim & Co will, however, not invite tenders for the said land. Instead, the sale will be conducted through a private treaty where the agent will go directly to potential buyers to negotiate a deal.

According to Rahim & Co’s information brief, the site currently holds an office building, which is still in operation, and several now-defunct industrial production and storage buildings.

It also states that the land facing the Federal Highway has a frontage of 950 ft, of which a major portion has been zoned for limited commercial use with a plot ratio of 1:2.5. The land facing Jalan 225, measuring 1,250 ft, has been zoned for industrial use. The information brief also states that several developments in Petaling Jaya have been granted higher plot ratios of 1:4 and above.

“The land offers a redevelopment opportunity. There is nothing else that can be done on it,” Ang says.

He adds that more industrial land sales in Petaling Jaya can be expected as it has developed into a city. “More will come. It is no longer suitable to have industrial land in the city.”

According to Malaya Acid’s website, the company was incorporated on April 10, 1958, and began producing sulphuric acid in Petaling Jaya, making it one of the earliest companies to set up a manufacturing facility in Selangor.

In 1962, its wholly-owned subsidiary Malaya Acid Works (Alum) Sdn Bhd started producing aluminium sulphate and hydrated lime for water treatment plants in Malaysia.

A search on the Companies Commission of Malaysia’s website reveals that the shareholders of Malaya Acid are Koo Lin Shen (40%), Lydia Koo Chee Yung (16.6%), Charles Koo Ho-Tung (16.3%), Angela Koo Chi-Fong (8.3%), Henry Koo Ho Liang (8.3%), Koo Lin Hwa (5%), the estate of Koo Lin Kung (5%) and the estate of Lim Guan Want (0.5%).

Linde Malaysia had late last year sold its 10.3-acre industrial land at Lot 13, Jalan 222, Petaling Jaya, to Pelaburan Hartanah Bhd (PHB) for RM44.87 million or RM100 psf. The lease on this parcel, however, expires in 2028. The Edge understands that PHB may have an opportunity to convert its use to high-value limited commercial land or possibly even residential land.

Linde Malaysia has already moved its corporate office from the site, and its factory is expected to be moved to Bangi, Selangor, at the end of the year.

In June, BAT had sold its factories and two parcels of leasehold land totalling 13 acres in Jalan 19/1, Petaling Jaya, to LGB Properties (M) Sdn Bhd for RM218 million or RM382 psf. The deal was done by Rahim & Co via a public tender.

The sale comes with a one-year tenancy agreement for the seller to continue to use the site. The new owner is planning a mixed-use development for the site.

Another major industrial land deal done three to four years ago is a parcel owned by Cerebos (M) Sdn Bhd (known for Brand’s Essence of Chicken), which is located about 750m from Malaya Acid’s factory. According to Cerebos’ financial statement, the land at Lot 13 Jalan 219 has a lease expiring in 2066. This parcel, now used as a car park, was sold for RM308 psf.