UK Battersea acquisition above board, say firms

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KUALA LUMPUR — Sime Darby Property and SP Setia asserted they had acquired Battersea Power Station (BPS) in the United Kingdom through “a competitive tender process”.

In a joint statement, the two property companies said funding for the project came solely from “a combination of equity from shareholders”.

They were responding to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s remarks reported in The Guardian the project was funded with state funds.

“The site acquisition and the subsequent costs of the BPS development have been fully funded by a combination of equity from the shareholders together with development debt provided on commercial terms,” the statement read.

This was carried out through a mixed group of nine Malaysian and 60 per cent international lenders.

Sime Darby, and SP Setia, which is owned largely by Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB), also said the RM2.4 billion loan for Phase 1 of the project had been repaid ahead of schedule, while the initial capital for the project and profit from the first phase has been reinvested for the development of the subsequent phases.

The two property developers, holding 40 per cent shares each, added that the proposed reorganisation of ownership between PNB and the Employees Provident Fund (20 per cent ownership) was “purely an investment consideration”.

“As previously assured by all parties, the decision to explore the potential reorganisation of ownership is purely an investment consideration initiated by the BPS board and management team, together with the EPF and PNB,” the statement read.

“From the perspective of Sime Darby Property and SP Setia, as property developers, the transaction will enable them to continue to reallocate capital to other areas of their development businesses.”