KWAP inks deal with Singapore-based workers' accommodation operator for RM227mil

KUALA LUMPUR: Retirement Fund (Incorporated) (KWAP) plans to acquire two Centurion Corporation Limited’s workers’ accommodation assets for RM227 million.

In a statement today, Malaysia’s public sector pension fund said it entered into sale and leaseback agreements with the Singapore-based workers’ accommodation operator to acquire Westlite Bukit Minyak in Penang and Westlite Tampoi in Johor.

"Upon completion of the sale and purchase agreements, Centurion, through its subsidiaries, will enter into lease agreements with KWAP to lease back the properties for 15 years,” KWAP said.

Centurion said the divestment of the properties is part of the group’s ongoing strategic rationalisation of its portfolio assets, to recycle and redeploy capital, to further grow its portfolio of assets under management.

The sale and leaseback of the properties are also aligned with the group’s strategy to grow its business via asset-light means.

Centurion is actively expanding its Malaysia purpose-built workers’ accommodation (PBWA) capacity in response to the escalating demand for PBWA also known as centralised living quarters in Malaysia.

It said this strategic initiative is in line with the progressive regulatory measures, including the Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990 (Act 446), and the increased awareness by employees, employers, end-customers and the government surrounding the imperative need for enhanced welfare for the migrant workforce.

Meanwhile, the group is expanding its portfolio in Malaysia, an asset enhancement initiative (AEI) at Westlite Senai in Johor is ongoing and expected to be completed in the fourth quarter (4Q) of 2023, adding approximately 770 beds.

"The group has also secured a management contract for a new PBWA, Westlite Cemerlang, with approximately 2,196 beds in Johor, which is expected to be operational in 4Q 2023.

"Two other AEIs are earmarked for Westlite Johor Tech Park and Westlite Senai II, to add approximately 2,720 beds on progressive completion in 2024 and 2025,” it said. - Bernama

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