Parkson takes over management of Maju Junction Mall

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KUALA LUMPUR: Maju Group, controlled by businessman Tan Sri Abu Sahid Mohamed, has enlisted the help of tycoon Tan Sri William Cheng’s Parkson Group to manage and operate Maju Junction Mall here.

Cheng is owner of the successful Parkson department store chain, which also owns and manages several malls in China. Parkson will be the master lessee of Maju Junction Mall, which is located at the corner of Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman.

It is understood that the tenancy agreement was entered into via Cheng’s Singapore-listed Parkson Retail Asia Ltd (PRA). As at Oct 24, 2014, Parkson Holdings Bhd owned 67.61% of PRA.

When contacted by The Edge Financial Daily, an official from the Lion Group confirmed that Parkson will lease the entire mall and manage it.

It will also reposition Maju Junction Mall and be its anchor tenant. The mall has a net lettable area of 220,000 sq ft.

The official said besides Parkson group’s strategy of owning malls, it also manages malls so as to have a stream of recurring income.

However, the official did not say when the deal was signed or the duration of the tenancy agreement.

Maju Junction Mall is part of Maju Group, which is affiliated to Abu Sahid. Maju Group’s website stated that ASM Properties Sdn Bhd owns and operates the 33-storey office block-cum- retail building.

A search with the Companies Commission of Malaysia revealed that Abu Sahid owns all but one share in ASM Properties, which has an issued capital of RM10 million.

It is unclear why Abu Sahid has decided to pass on the management of the mall to another firm after managing it for 12 years. However, players said it may have to do with the performance of the mall.

ASM Properties made a net profit of RM4.21 million for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2013 (FY13) compared to a net loss of RM9.79 million the previous year. However, revenue fell 11.49% to RM19.27 million from RM21.77 million in FY12.

The company managed to narrow its accumulated losses to RM48.99 million in FY13 from an accumulated loss of RM53.19 million in FY12.

As at Dec 31, 2013, ASM Properties’ total assets were RM226.92 million and total liabilities stood at RM251.34 million, out of which RM251.02 million were current liabilities.

Industry experts said having a brand like Parkson will give Maju Junction Mall a boost as it will be able to lure in a bigger crowd.

In Malaysia, Parkson Holdings has undertaken several corporate exercises this year.

Two months ago, it announced the sale of KL Festival City Mall for RM349 million in cash to Festival Mall Sdn Bhd and AsiaMalls Sdn Bhd, citing its intention to focus on developing larger-sized malls to drive the group’s department store expansion plans. Parkson made a gain of RM110 million from this disposal.

It is currently building a new mall, which it will own and operate in Melaka. Said to have some one million sq ft of space, the mall will be ready in 2016 and will likely be named Lion City.

 

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on October 27, 2014.