Kidzania KL owner to construct and operate new ESCAPE theme park in Perak

Kidzania KL owner to construct and operate new ESCAPE theme park in Perak
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KUALA LUMPUR (May 12): Developer and operator of theme parks based in Malaysia, Sim Leisure Group Ltd, which is also the licensee operator of Kidzania KL, is set to construct and operate a new ESCAPE theme park located in Perak.

In a bourse filing dated May 11 on Singapore's stock exchange, Sim Leisure said it has entered into a theme park agreement in relation to the project management of the construction and the operation and maintenance of an environmentally sustainable ESCAPE theme park in Jalan Tanjung Tualang Batu Gajah, Perak.

The agreement was entered by its wholly owned subsidiary, Sim Leisure Rock Sdn Bhd, with TT5 Park Sdn Bhd and its wholly owned subsidiary, TT5 Theme Assets Sdn Bhd.

TT5 Park, whose principal activity is to own, build and operate a tourism park, is the registered lessee of the land measuring approximately 120 acres to be used for the project.

According to Sim Leisure, the project land is a portion of the leasehold land measuring approximately 146 acres, owned and registered under the name of Menteri Besar Inc Perak (MB Inc) and leased to TT5 Park by MB Inc.

The lease has been registered for a 45-year period from Sept 28, 2021 to Sept 27, 2066 at the relevant land office in Perak.

Pursuant to the agreement, TT5 Theme Assets shall construct and own the theme park while Sim Leisure Rock shall develop the project and to operate, manage and maintain the park on behalf of TT5 Theme Assets.

This would be for an initial term of 30 years from the opening date, with an option to mutually extend the term for a further period of 10 years.

"Under the agreement, the opening date is scheduled to be 12 months from the commencement of the construction work of the theme park or such other date as may be extended pursuant to this agreement or otherwise agreed in writing between the parties," it said.

TT5 Theme Assets shall also finance and fund the construction works of the theme park up to a maximum of RM15 million.

Meanwhile, Sim Leisure Rock's scope of work for the project includes providing project management service in respect of the planning, design, development, construction, landscaping, equipping installation and completion of the theme park.

In addition, Sim Leisure will also carry out the operational services as well as demand and collect the revenues generated from the theme park.

Sim Leisure will be paid a fee for the design and coordination of the architectural design of the theme park and any relevant taxes, up to a maximum sum of RM360,000. It will also be paid a project management fee of RM65,000 per month for 12 months up to a maximum of RM780,000 for the provision of project management service.

On rationale, Sim Leisure said that the company decided to enter into the agreement in order to grow the group's revenue stream through collaborating with TT5 Park without straining the group's balance sheets and allow the group to seize the growing business opportunities.

"Further, [it is to] elevate the group's status as the leading developer and operator of retro-eco theme parks based in Malaysia, and expand the 'ESCAPE' brand of theme parks in Malaysia," it said.

According to its 2020 sustainability report, Sim Leisure, together with its subsidiaries, as a group is a retro-eco theme park developer and operator, and presently owns and operates the ESCAPE brand of theme parks, showcasing ESCAPE outdoor theme park in Penang since 2012, and the ESCAPE Challenge indoor theme park at Paradigm Mall, Petaling Jaya which was launched in 2020.

In December 2020, Sim Leisure acquired KidZania KL, an internationally renowned brand of family edutainment.

Sim Leisure's revenue for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2021 (FY21) increased by RM8.12 million or 84.9% to RM17.69 million compared with RM9.58 million for FY20.

The increase in revenue was mainly contributed by the cooperation fee received from Sim Leisure Gulf Contracting LLC pursuant to the cooperation agreement entered into between the company's 60%-owned subsidiary Sim Leisure Creative Pte Ltd, Sim Leisure Gulf on Dec 9, 2020.

The group also saw increase in admission fee to theme parks, sale of food, beverages and merchandise as well as services rendered in respect of the group's theme parks as these theme parks resumed operations beginning from October 20, 2021 as the Malaysian government eased restrictions and measured in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sim Leisure is led by executive director and chief executive officer Sim Choo Kheng. Sim, who is also the founder, is responsible for overseeing the overall business development and general management of the group, and formulating the group's strategic directions and expansion plans, according to its corporate website.

Esther Lee