Impiana Hotels to lease WOLO KL Hotel for three-year period

The group secured approval for a name change to Magma Group Bhd.

KUALA LUMPUR: Shareholders of loss-making Impiana Hotels Bhd gave the greenlight to lease its major shareholder’s WOLO Kuala Lumpur Hotel for a three-year period.

The group, whose share price surged 206% in the past six months, also secured the approval for a name change to Magma Group Bhd.

The name change was proposed as the group sought to diversify its portfolio across various sectors that may include food and beverage, green energy and information technology, Impiana managing director Datuk Seri Thomas Liang Chee Fong told StarBiz.

Nevertheless, the Impiana brand for its hotels in Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh and Senai will be retained.

In an EGM held yesterday, a total of 81 voters representing 194.61 million shares or 99.99.97% supported the resolution for a new recurring related party transaction mandate, pertaining to the leasing of WOLO from Jan 1, 2024 to Dec 31, 2026.

The lease was deemed necessary to enable Impiana to stage a turnaround. The group posted a net loss of RM9.4mil in the first nine-month period ended Sept 30, 2023.

Seventeen voters with 519 shares or 0.0003% voted against the resolution.

It is, however, noteworthy that five shareholders with 195.1 million shares abstained from voting on the resolution.

The bulk of these shares were held by the single-largest shareholder, Datuk Seri Lee Hock Seng and his spouse, Datin Seri Joanne Yew Hong Im. The company said both Lee and Yew abstained as they are the interested parties.

Lee is the group chairman of HYM Group, which owns and operates WOLO and Gold3 Boutique Hotel.

Established in 2019, WOLO is a lifestyle boutique hotel located in Bukit Bintang.

For the second resolution, a total of 81 shareholders with 377.5 million shares or 99.99.82% voted in support for the name change to Magma. Twenty-one shareholders with 6,710 shares or 0.0018% voted against, and one shareholder with 12.2 million shares abstained.

Speaking with StarBiz post-EGM, Liang said the decision to lease the WOLO is testament to Magma’s commitment to blending tradition with modernity.

“With Impiana’s 30-year legacy in hospitality, the collaboration with WOLO, a lifestyle boutique hotel with a thematic local culture, promises a unique synergy,” he said.

Currently, WOLO operates at an average occupancy rate of 75% to 80%, and could reach 90% at peak seasons.

Meanwhile, the Impiana Hotel in Kuala Lumpur has an average occupancy of 55%.

Liang, who previously led WOLO, was appointed as Impiana’s managing director on Oct 11.

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