Liew ’s Eco World International seeks SPAC listing

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KUALA LUMPUR: Eco World International Bhd (EWI), spearheaded by Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin, has proposed to list the entity as a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia, and Eco World Development Group Bhd (Eco World) intends to buy a 30% stake in EWI upon its listing.

In a filing with the local exchange yesterday, Eco World said it is interested to subscribe for 1.125 billion ordinary shares of 1 sen each in EWI, as well as a similar number of free detachable warrants for RM562.5 billion.

It said the proposed subscription is “currently the most appropriate means for Eco World to venture overseas in a significant manner without over-leveraging on the company’s financial resources”.

The subscription will see Eco World owning 30% of EWI’s expanded issued and paid-up share capital of EWI upon the completion of the latter’s proposed listing.

Eco World said EWI has no operations or income-generating business at the moment but is undertaking the proposed listing to raise funds to acquire real estate assets such as vacant land and/or redevelopment projects overseas in countries like the United Kingdom and Australia.

Eco World said once EWI is a listed entity, it will be able to undertake a larger and more diversified pool of projects globally compared with what Eco World would be able to do on its own.

“This enables Eco World, as a financial investor in EWI, to gain a wide exposure to global property markets without the need to incur the cost of maintaining its own international management team.

“Given that EWI will be solely responsible for the day-to-day management of the international projects undertaken by it, Eco World will therefore be able to stay focused and channel more resources to fund its business development and expansion activities in Malaysia,” Eco World added in the announcement.

Liew is the former president and chief executive officer of property developer S P Setia Bhd. He was appointed as a director in Eco World in May this year.

Meanwhile, in a separate announcement, Eco World said it will not deliberate further nor accept the offer from Eco World Development Sdn Bhd to buy about 4,788 sq m of land it owns in New South Wales, Australia, as announced on May 9.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on October 17, 2014.