Malaysia-based Eco World International Bhd. completed the first stage of its plan to acquire a 70% stake in the development unit of Willmott Dixon Holdings Ltd. after settling the acquisition of six sites from the U.K. developer.
The six sites comprise a project in Woking, U.K., and five others in London, with a gross development value of roughly £1.1 billion.
Eco World will now move ahead with the second stage of its plan with the signing of purchase deals for a further six development sites in London, with a gross development value of £1.5 billion. The company's share of the consideration for the assets amounts to roughly £40.4 million, which it intends to fund using bank borrowings, other debt instruments and/or internal funds.
The deals will increase the number of Eco World's projects in the U.K. to 15 in total, it said in a release.
Eco World noted that its joint venture with Willmott's Be Living Holdings Ltd. unit will give it access to U.K.'s growing build-to-rent sector, aside from extending its presence in the country and diversifying its product range and customer base.