YTL launches Starhill REIT

The Edge Daily

By Surin Murugiah

YTL Corporation Bhd launched the largest real estate investment trust (REIT) on Nov 22, the Starhill REIT, to be listed on Bursa Malaysia this year with an enlarged fund size of 1.04 billion units.

The Starhill REIT, which is tentatively scheduled for listing on the Main Board on Dec 16, aims to raise RM523.4 million from the listing exercise.

It comprises Starhill Gallery, Lot 10 Shopping Centre and JW Marriot Hotel, which are located in the prime Bukit Bintang area.

The initial public offering involves 509.59 million units comprising the retail offering of 29.99 million units at an indicative retail price of 98 sen each and 479.6 million units for Malaysian and foreign institutional and selected investors at price to be determined by a bookbuilding process.

The joint bookrunners are ECM Libra Securities Sdn Bhd, DBS Bank Ltd and the Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd with AmMerchant Bhd Group as the senior co-lead manager. ECM Libra is also the lead financial adviser.

Pintar Projek Sdn Bhd (PPSB), a subsidiary of YTL Corporation unit YTL Land Sdn Bhd, will manage Starhill REIT.

Speaking at the launch of the prospectus in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 22, YTL Corporation group managing director Tan Sri Francis Yeoh Sock Ping said the company may acquire more properties that fitted into the Starhill concept.

He said an overseas roadshow will be held from now till the end of the bookbuilding period on Dec 1.

Yeoh, who is also the chief executive officer of PPSB, said the roadshow will cover Singapore, Hong Kong, the Netherlands and United Kingdom.

He said he was confident Starhill REIT would be well received by the investment community, both foreign and domestic, as its concept proved successful.

“The Starhill concept of linking hotels and retail outlets of reputable, world-class brands in a strategically located area has been a good formula for the success of the properties in the REIT,” he said.

“Efforts to upgrade the Starhill area started in 1999, and the subsequent re-branding of Bintang Walk and Starhill gallery saw the increase in iconic brands setting up businesses here,” he said.

Among some of the illustrious retailing names at the properties are Louis Vuitton, Alfred Dunhill, Rolex, The Body Shop together with other luxury designer brands and several restaurant and food outlets.

According to the prospectus, PPSB expects to distribute 100% of Starhill REIT’s distributable income for the period to June 30, 2007, and thereafter 90% for each financial year.