Wisma MPL may be going under the hammer
KUALA LUMPUR (June 13): Loss-making property outfit Malaysia Pacific Corp Bhd (MPCorp) could see one of its core assets, Wisma MPL, auctioned off as the group still has not secured a buyer for the property.
According to a source familiar with the matter, the 23-storey office complex in Jalan Raja Chulan will be auctioned off next month with a reserve price of RM255 million.
“The auction will be in July but it’s not for the whole building as there are some private-owner units in it. It will start at RM255 million,” said the source.
Wisma MPL is one of the group’s two core assets, besides the 490-acre (198ha) tract it owns in Johor. The office complex comprises a 19-storey office tower over a four-storey retail podium block. Completed in 1973, it was previously known as Wisma MPI and then as Wisma HLA.
When contacted, MPCorp chief executive officer Charles Ch’ng Soon Sen only commented that the property was “still going through some legal procedures”, adding that the company is still on the lookout for buyers.
“We are in talks with some parties but nothing is confirmed yet,” he told The Edge Financial Daily without revealing details.
MPCorp first announced its intention to sell off the property in November 2013, which was valued at RM320 million at the time, to scrounge up cash to meet its obligation following the default on repayment of banking facilities provided by RHB Bank.
Adding to its troubles, the company was designated Practice Note 17 status in December 2014 after its external auditors Messrs UHY expressed a disclaimer opinion on its audited accounts for the financial year ended June 30, 2014 (FY14), and subsequently for FY15 and FY16 as well.
MPCorp has yet to announce a regularisation plan to turn around its operations and has been given until June 30 to make its submission.
In July last year, MPCorp entered into a memorandum of understanding with Singapore-based Terra Pontus Pte Ltd for the sale of a part of Wisma MPL for RM250 million, after the group sold some of the units in the complex.
However, the sale was aborted in September, after not receiving any earnest deposit from the purchaser.
Zitron (M) Sdn Bhd also expressed interest in the property last year and even paid an earnest deposit of RM5 million, but subsequently backed out of the deal.
Last August, the High Court made an order for sale of the property and fixed Nov 21, 2016 as the auction date for Wisma MPL.
MPCorp shares were untraded last Friday. The counter was last traded at 12.5 sen, with a market capitalisation of RM35.96 million.
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on June 13, 2017.