Paramount acquires 21.54% stake in Eco World International

PETALING JAYA, 10 May 2024 – Paramount Corporation Berhad (Paramount) has accelerated its overseas expansion plan with the acquisition of a strategic stake in Eco World International Berhad (Eco World International) today.

Paramount, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Flexsis Sdn Bhd, acquired 517 million shares (or 21.54% equity stake) of Eco World International at 33 sen per share, from GLL EWI (HK) Limited, for a total cash consideration of RM170.6 million.

Paramount Group CEO Jeffrey Chew said, “Since Paramount divested our education businesses in 2018, we have been on the look-out for opportunities to participate in new business interests to diversify our earnings base, both locally and outside of Malaysia, all of which were incorporated in our strategic plan of 2020 to 2025. We have since then invested in various start-ups in the digital space and expanded into Bangkok property development via a joint venture.”

“This acquisition presents a timely and strategic opportunity for Paramount to accelerate our expansion plan beyond Malaysia, in fact, beyond Asia. It enables Paramount to have a sizeable stake in a well-established Malaysian listed company that specialises in property development overseas,” he said.

Eco World International has development projects in London, Sydney and Melbourne through joint ventures and subsidiaries, with a remaining gross development value of RM8.6 billion as at 29 February 2024.

Chew said, “Demand for homes in London and its surrounding areas remains a source of opportunities now and in the longer term. Rental rates are high and has been escalating due to tight supply since 2021, post COVID-19. In recent months, mortgage approvals rate has been on the rise and a Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RCIS) survey expects house prices to increase over the next 12 months across the UK.

“Moving forward, Paramount and Eco World International could collaborate and create new synergies by leveraging on each other’s experience and expertise,” he said.

Paramount went into an equity venture with a Thai boutique developer in 2020, and has invested RM24.6 million in both debt and equity for the development of Na Reva Charoennakhon, a 29-storey freehold condominium in Bangkok. Construction of the condominium that overlooks the Chao Phraya River was completed recently.