Sentoria, PNB in talks to develop IR city in Morib

PETALING JAYA (Jan 31, 2012): Soon-to-be-listed Sentoria Group Bhd is in talks with state-owned investment fund Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) to develop an integrated resort (IR) city in Morib, Selangor.

Sentoria is the developer and operator of the Bukit Gambang Resort City (BGRC) in Kuantan, Pahang. The company is slated to be listed on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia on Feb 23.

A source familiar with the matter said an agreement between Sentoria and PNB is expected to be sealed soon.

"The discussions are in an advanced stage to develop recreational and supporting elements such as theme parks and MICE (meeting, incentive, convention and exhibition) facilities there on a joint venture (JV) basis. The project will involve developing at least 80ha of land owned by PNB," the source told SunBiz.

"Under the JV, Sentoria will emulate the integrated property development concept of BGRC and bring it to Morib."

It is understood that the proposed project is part of Morib Beach Resort, a 320ha development project of which PNB Development Sdn Bhd, a unit of PNB, is the master developer.

The project will see the development of tourist, entertainment, sporting and leisure attractions, but currently features a hotel, corporate villas and chalets, according to PNB Development's website.

Sentoria is launching its initial public offering (IPO) prospectus today. It is expected to raise as much as RM50 million for new facilities at its 218ha BGRC development — the country's third largest theme park by number of guests, after Genting Highlands and Sunway Lagoon — and to repay borrowings.

The indicative price is believed to be 85 sen a share with the IPO expected to involve a public issue and an offer for sale of a total of 100 million shares, or 25% of its enlarged paid-up share capital.

Sentoria's business model is to form JVs and strategic alliances with land owners to undertake development projects so as to minimise initial outlay to acquire landbank.

The bulk of its revenue comes from property development and the rest from its leisure and hospitality business.