Kuala Lumpur, 17 April 2007
YTL Corporation Berhad (YTL Corp) announced today the signing of an agreement to launch the celebrated Starhill Gallery concept in the Middle East. The agreement was signed by Pintar Projek Sdn Bhd (Pintar Projek), a subsidiary of YTL Corp, and ETA Star Property Developers LLC (ETA Star), a leading property developer in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Pintar Projek is also the manager of Starhill Real Estate Investment Trust (Starhill REIT), which owns Starhill Gallery in Malaysia.
Dubai's Starhill Gallery will be part of the US$410 million (RM1.4 billion) Starhill Towers & Gallery complex being developed by ETA Star. With a total built up area of approximately 1.6 million square feet, the Starhill Towers & Gallery will comprise state-of-the-art freehold offices, a 5-star hotel and Dubai's own Starhill Gallery, all housed within a twin-tower waterfront development in Dubai's Business Bay, in the vicinity of The Burj Dubai, which will be the tallest building in the world (now under construction). Starhill Gallery Dubai will take up to 250,000 sq. ft.
Starhill Gallery Dubai will be the first development outside Malaysia to carry the unique, world-renowned Starhill brand conceptualised by YTL Corp, which has redefined the specialised luxury retail niche market and unequivocally affirmed Kuala Lumpur's place on the luxury retail map. There is much interest from global real estate investors to house a Starhill Gallery in other key capital cities around the world including London, Shanghai and Moscow, which are presently being evaluated.
A treasure trove of rich experiences, Malaysia's Starhill Gallery houses the world's leading luxury brands in four unique, themed zones: Feast Village (for iconic restaurants), the Indulge Zone (for exclusive brands such as Louis Vuitton), the Adorn Zone (for the world's most luxurious watch and jewellery brands, including Jaeger-LeCoultre and Van Cleef & Arpels) and the Pamper Zone (for exclusive beauty and wellness related boutiques and spas, housed in a 50,000 sq.ft. dedicated urban retreat).
Pintar Projek expects to see positive contributions arising from licensing fees of approximately RM5.2 million (US$1.5 million), as well as an annual brand management fee under a 4% gross profit-sharing arrangement for use of the Starhill Gallery brand for the new mall. There are no capital expenditure requirements for YTL Corp. Pintar Projek will provide brand management services to ETA Star to ensure the integrity of the Starhill Gallery brand, which includes sharing expertise on architects and consultants to be engaged at the design and construction stage and product and service lines and tenant mix for the mall thereafter, in line with Starhill Gallery in Kuala Lumpur.
Tan Sri Dato' (Dr) Francis Yeoh Sock Ping, Managing Director of YTL Corp and Chief Executive Officer of Pintar Projek, said, "We are proud to be associated with ETA Star, who has an impeccable record of developing billion-dollar premium properties in prime locations.
"Although Dubai is known for its super mega shopping malls, we are confident that Starhill Gallery will create a mark for itself with its distinctive design, architecture and the unique shopping experience it will offer. I am glad that ETA Star has chosen Starhill Gallery as a differentiator against the other malls in Dubai."
Abid A. Junaid, Executive Director, ETA Star, said, "We are pleased to be the property developer for a project that houses the unique Starhill Gallery luxury mall owned by the Malaysian conglomerate YTL Corporation. The mall will be a gallery of luxurious experiences in fashion, food, beauty and art and consists of several dedicated zones."
Commenting on the wider implications of this venture for the YTL Corp group, Tan Sri Dato' (Dr) Francis Yeoh also said, "I am looking forward to increased opportunities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), especially in the areas of water, cement, power, retail and property."
Construction of the Starhill Towers & Gallery is set to commence in the third quarter of 2007 and the project is scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2010.
ETA Star has successfully launched projects close to 10 million sq ft in various master development communities like Dubai Marina, Jumeriah Lake Towers, Dubai International Financial Centre, Business Bay and International Media Production Zone. ETA Star's portfolio includes pioneering projects such as 23 Marina, Al Manara, Liberty House, Gold Crest Executive, The Palm Jumeriah Residence and Spa and Grandeur Residences, The Summit, Pearl Residence, The Belvedere and Gold Crest Views-2. ETA Star is also carrying out similar projects in Oman, Qatar, Pakistan and India.
ABOUT YTL CORP
Listed on the Main Board of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad since 1985, YTL Corp is an integrated infrastructure developer with core activities including power generation and transmission, owning and managing water and sewerage facilities, property and hotel development, cement manufacturing, construction contracting and e-commerce initiatives.
In line with its strategy of acquiring regulated assets operating under long-term concessions, the Group owns a 33.5% stake in ElectraNet in Australia, a 100% stake in Wessex Water in the United Kingdom and a 35% stake in P.T. Jawa Power in Indonesia in 2004. YTL Corp also has cement manufacturing, property development and hotel interests in Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand.
ABOUT STARHILL REIT
Listed on 16 December 2005 on the Main Board of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad, Starhill REIT's principal investment strategy is to invest in a diversified portfolio of income-producing real estate, used primarily for retail, office and hospitality purposes, with particular focus on retail and hotel properties. Starhill REIT currently owns three prime properties situated in Kuala Lumpur's Golden Triangle, namely, Starhill Gallery and the adjoining JW Marriott Hotel Kuala Lumpur, and 137 parcels and 2 accessory parcels of retail, office, storage and other spaces within Lot 10 Shopping Centre.
Pintar Projek, Starhill REIT's manager, was incorporated in 1994 and is a 70%-owned subsidiary of YTL Land Sdn Bhd, which in turn is wholly-owned subsidiary of YTL Corp.