(Adds details on restructuring plans)
By A. Ananthalakshmi and Liz Lee
KUALA LUMPUR, March 8 (Reuters) - Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd, controlled by Malaysian property tycoon Lim Kang Hoo, has offered to buy Iskandar Waterfront City Berhad (IWC) in a “back door” listing of one of the country’s biggest property firms.
Lim’s Iskandar Waterfront Holdings, which media reports said had been considering an initial public offering in early 2017 to raise about $300 million, offered to buy the 61.7 percent stake in IWC it does not already own for 1.50 ringgit per share, valuing IWC at 1.24 billion ringgit ($279 million).
Iskandar Waterfront Holdings said on Wednesday it would assume the IWC’s listing on the Bursa Malaysia stock exchange upon completion of the deal “which will see the establishment of one of the largest listed strategic master property developers on Bursa Malaysia”.
The company and China Railway Engineering Corp bought a 60 percent stake in Bandar Malaysia - a major development project in Kuala Lumpur - in December 2015 from troubled Malaysian state fund 1MDB for 7.41 billion ringgit ($1.7 billion).
Bandar Malaysia is set to include a terminal for a high speed rail line between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
Iskandar Waterfront Holdings, partly owned by the Johor state government, said it will embark on a proposed restructuring exercise via internal rationalisation of minority stakes within the group and various Johor state entities.
Consequently, IWH will have a total land bank of more than 7,400 acres in Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru, making it one of the largest property companies in Malaysia.
“The estimated open market value of this land bank is approximately 30 billion ringgit, as assessed by the appointed independent valuers,” the company said.
AmInvestment Bank Bhd, CIMB Investment Bank Bhd, Maybank Investment Bank Bhd and RHB Investment Bank Bhd are the appointed joint principal advisors for IWC. ($1 = 4.4520 ringgit) (Editing by David Clarke and Alexander Smith)