UDA wants Penang govt to lower asking price for Tropical Island Resort stake

PEKAN: UDA Holdings Bhd will consider acquiring the shares of the Penang Development Corp (PDC) in the Tropical Island Resort (TIR), if the state government agrees to lower the selling price, said managing director Datuk Ahmad Abu Bakar.

He said the state government should accept UDA Holdings offer, as the company had invested about RM60mil for the redevelopment of Pulau Jerejak without much assistance from the state government.

This has affected UDA Holdings’ financial position, he added.

“We have been talking about this for a very long time now. But to date, we have not come into any final agreement about buying PDC’s shares in TIR.

“We are not going to buy the stake from the state government...(but) it’s possible (if they reduce the price), as we need to replan and reorganise the island,” he told Bernama on the sidelines of the UDA Media Challenge 2015 here on Friday.

While declining to disclose the price set by the state government, Ahmad believed the stake acquisition could be resolved in less than two years.

He also hoped the state government will participate in rebuilding Pulau Jerejak, a former penal colony. 

UDA Holdings owns a 51% stake in TIR, and the rest by PDC, the state government’s development arm.

Pulau Jerejak is the biggest of the many islands around the immediate vicinity of Penang.

It was reported that the state government is in talks with UDA Holdings on disposing of its stake in TIR as it was not a profitable venture.

Asked about UDA Holdings’ future plans for Pulau Jerejak if the acquisition goes through, Ahmad said the company would suggest turning it into another tourist destination, which at the same time would involve real estate activity.

“We want to have seaview villas and also refurbish the existing hotel on the island.

“The plan is still subject to approval and all depends on the state government,” he said, adding, UDA Holdings also plans to build a bridge to the mainland for better connection. - Bernama

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