Khazanah still owns assets of Iskandar Malaysia Studios

13 Jun 2023 04:35pm
Deputy Finance Minister II Steven Sim Chee Keong - BERNAMA
Deputy Finance Minister II Steven Sim Chee Keong - BERNAMA
KUALA LUMPUR - Khazanah Nasional Bhd has never sold the assets of Iskandar Malaysia Studios but instead only disposed of shares in the studio’s operating company, said Deputy Finance Minister II Steven Sim Chee Keong.

He said the film and television production complex on 19.8 hectares in Iskandar Puteri, Johor, is still owned by Khazanah via its special-purpose vehicle Tanjung Bidara Ventures Sdn Bhd.

The sovereign wealth fund decided to sell shares in the studio operator, Iskandar Malaysia Studios Sdn Bhd (IMS), in order to find a new partner that could better manage the studio, Sim said.

"IMS is facing challenges in terms of financial sustainability, which is exacerbated by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the film industry.

"If it remains a shareholder of IMS, Khazanah would have to continue providing financial support to the company with estimated losses of up to RM14 million per year,” he said during the question-and-answer session in the Dewan Rakyat today.

Sim was replying to a question from Datuk Iskandar Dzulkarnain Abdul Khalid (PN-Kuala Kangsar) who asked for an explanation on the rationale for selling the studio.

Sim said Khazanah had selected Studio Management Services Sdn Bhd as the new partner after going through the request for proposal process.

Studio Management Services is a consortium led by the local management team of IMS and regional partner GHY Culture & Media Holding Co Ltd and its unit GHY Culture & Media (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd.

GHY, listed on the Singapore Exchange, is a leading media group in the Asian entertainment industry.
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"Currently, the share purchase agreement has been signed by both parties and we are waiting for the conditions precedent to be satisfied,” he said.

Sim said that following the transaction, Khazanah would receive gains from the sale of shares in the studio’s operating company amounting to RM32 million as well as an estimated total rental payment of RM26 million until 2036.

He said Studio Management Services was expected to generate potential revenue of RM800 million in five years through the entry of new productions for the studio.

"As a result, more job opportunities can be provided in the studio ecosystem, which will have a positive impact on the local economy,” he added - BERNAMA