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KUALA LUMPUR: Construction firm Ekovest Bhd is in an exclusive talk to acquire its executive chairman Tan Sri Lim Kang Hoo's stake in a joint-venture company that is a partner in the Bandar Malaysia development project.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, Ekovest said it has received a letter dated Sept 7 from Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd (IWH) to explore the participation of the company as a strategic investor in Bandar Malaysia.

This is through the acquisition of IWH's 40% stake in IWH CREC Sdn Bhd.

Lim holds a 63% stake in IWH, while Johor state government’s Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor Sdn Bhd owns the remaining 37% stake.

"The Board of Directors of the Company wishes to announce that the Board has agreed to commence exclusive negotiation to finalize with IWH in relation to the Proposal, with a view towards entering into agreement within 30 market days from the acceptance of the Letter, unless extended with the consent of both parties," Ekovest said.

IWH, through IWH-CREC, a joint venture vehicle between IWH and China Railway Engineering Corporation (M) Sdn Bhd had on Dec 17, 17 2019 entered into a restated and amended share sale agreement with TRX City Sdn Bhd to acquire a 60% equity interest in Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

TRX City is a wholly owned unit of Minister of Finance Inc.

In July, finance minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz told the Parliament that TRX City has given IWH-CREC Sdn Bhd a four-and-a-half-month extension, from April 30 to Sept 15, to pay the balance RM1.1bil upfront deposit for the latter's acquisition of a 60% stake in the Bandar Malaysia project.

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