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Vinhomes, Vietnam's leading real estate management company and the property management arm of Vingroup, has completed the purchase of 97.7 per cent stake in Berjaya Vietnam International University Township One Member LLC from Malaysia’s Berjaya Corporation.
This VND11.75 trillion ($515.6 million) deal aims to acquire the long-delayed Vietnam International University Township (VIUT) project.
|The road leading to the site of the ill-fated Vietnam International Berjaya University Township. Photo: Hong Son|
BerjayaVietnam International University Township One Member LLC is the investor of the long-delayed VIUT project.
The project, which received its investment certificate in July 2008, is located at Tan Thoi Nhi commune in Hoc Mon district. It has an area of 925 hectares and investment capital of $3.5 billion.
According to its design, Berjaya would have set aside 100 hectares for a university. The township was to have 20 schools offering education from kindergarten to high school. The remaining 15-ha area was going to be a multi-purpose complex with a commercial area, residential area, administrative and cultural area, and a healthcare centre that would have operated in conjunction with the university, as well as a gym and a park.
At the point of receiving the investment certificate in 2008, VIUT was the largest foreign direct investment project in Ho Chi Minh City. The city authorities pegged a lot of hope on the project, giving credit to Berjaya’s renown as a big real estate developer.
After ten years, however, the project is still a field of grass and the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee requested the city's Department of Planning and Investment to either resolve the difficulties that the Malaysian company is having in implementing the project or revoke the investment certificate.
The investor told VIR about a month ago that it plans to kick-off the construction of the project early this year, however, to date, the construction has been immobile—and has now been taken over by Vingroup.
After the VUIT acquisition, Vinhomes also finished its capital contribution of more than VND2 trillion ($89 million) to Vietnam Berjaya Financial Centre this March, acquiring 67.5 per cent from the investing company of this project.
Located in District 10 of Ho Chi Minh City, the $930-million Vietnam Financial Centre was proposed to have five 48-storey buildings with a total of 600,000sq.m of floor space. It has also been delayed for many years. The site is now used as a parking lot for nearby restaurants.
Berjaya has a series of real estate projects that came along slowly after receiving their investment certificates. In 2013, the authorities of the southern province of Dong Nai revoked Berjaya’s investment certificate for Nhon Trach New Urban Area project because the company failed to start implementation.
In addition, sales were lacklustre at the Bien Hoa City Square apartment complex in Dong Nai, and the Hanoi Garden City urban area in Hanoi.