Malaysia’s Eco World inks $495m deal with Invesco to buy realty assets in London

Malaysia-based property developer Eco World International Bhd (EWI) has inked contracts worth £389 million ($495 million) with global property investment management firm Invesco Real Estate, it said in a statement on Monday.

The deal will see Invesco acquiring over 1,000 units of Build-to-Rent (BtR) homes in London in Kew Bridge and Barking Wharf, one of the most significant BtR deals in the UK, said EWI.

EWI has conducted the deal through its 70 per cent owned joint venture EcoWorld London

EWI said, the transaction is pursuant to the Heads of Terms announced by the group on August 29, and comes less than six months from the date EcoWorld London completed its acquisition of 70 per cent of the Willmott Dixon residential development business for £84 million ($107 million), covering eight sites.

The apartments are to be specifically developed at Kew Bridge in West London and Barking in East London for long-term rental on behalf of one of Invesco Real Estate’s international separate account clients, said the property developer.

“This is a fantastic start to EcoWorld International’s ambition of becoming a BtR market leader in the UK. BtR is the most resilient and fastest growing property sector in London today due to the chronic under-supply of affordable homes available for rent, particularly along the commuter belt where EcoWorld London’s projects are located.

“With large international funds now actively pursuing good quality BtR opportunities in the UK, the sector’s growth prospects will be even brighter. This underscores our confidence that whatever the outcome of ongoing Brexit negotiations, the BtR market is recession proof and will continue to strongly outperform other market segments well into the foreseeable future,” said EWI executive vice chairman Liew Kee Sin.

EcoWorld London chief executive Heng Leong Cheong said, the company’s ambition is to secure a pipeline of over 10,000 homes in the next five years to become a BtR market leader through the launch of a new operating company focusing solely on rented homes.

Construction work has commenced on both sites and the new homes will be available to rent from late 2020.

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