BERJAYA Corp Bhd (BCorp), which is controlled by founder and executive chairman Tan Sri Vincent Tan, has major plans for this year, including the sale of several assets abroad and the potential listing of its hotel business.
According to Tan, the group wants to dispose of some assets in order to fund various projects in the pipeline and to manage its debt-to-equity ratio.
“It doesn’t matter whether it’s a trophy asset or not, as long as the profit is good, we will sell them. Everything is for sale at the right prices,” he said.
Tan was speaking at a signing ceremony between Berjaya Okinawa Development Co Ltd and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts Asia Pacific Pte Ltd here last week.
The partnership is for a new hotel development in Okinawa, Japan, called Four Seasons Resort and Private Residences.
Tan said in the next three months, BCorp may sell the Four Seasons Hotel and Hotel Residences Kyoto in Japan, which officially opened in 2016.
“We are still talking to several parties. We hope to get the best ‘high’ price as it is a ‘trophy asset’,” he said.
It has been reported that the group is expected to net US$300 million to US$400 million (RM1.23 billion to RM1.65 billion) from the hotel sale.
The Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto is touted as the best hotel in Kyoto and the top three in Japan.
It boasts an average rate of US$1,500 per night. The Four Seasons Resort and Private Residences, a four-year development and currently under construction, may also be sold in the future, said Tan.
He expects the entire property to to be worth US$1 billion upon its full completion.
BCorp’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Berjaya Land Bhd (BLand) is undertaking the US$400 million development in Okinawa, where it has a total landbank of 40.5ha. Of the total, 12ha is for the Four Seasons Hotels and Residents and the rest is for future development.
BLand, which may be taken private by Tan, bought the land along the western coast of the Okinawa Island in 2009 at a low rate and without borrowings.
Tan said BCorp could potentially reap better pricing value of about US$600 million from the development, leveraging the group’s experience in partnering with the top premium hotel brands such as Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.
“Okinawa is a good market. I’m sure the prestigious Four Seasons branding and management, along with its strategic location in central Okinawa, will make the hotel one of the best on the island of Okinawa.”
The hotel was expected to have a minimum rate of US$1,000 per night.
Tan said he was also looking to list the hotel business under BLand but has yet to finalise the decision as the company is still in talks with some minority partners.
BCorp reportedly had planned to carve out the hotel business from BLand and list it in Singapore Stock Exchange.
The group owns several hotels in Malaysia, Japan, Vietnam, the United Kingdom, the Philippines, Seychelles and Sri Lanka, which according to industry expects, are worth over RM2 billion collectively.