Tuesday March 19, 2013
Increase in Khoo’s net worth
By YVONNE TAN
PETALING JAYA: Businessman Tan Sri Khoo Kay Peng saw a 77% spike in his net worth to US$275mil (RM860mil), the largest percentage gain among those on Forbes' latest list of Malaysia's 50 richest.
Khoo, who is number 36 on the list, saw his net wealth surge from US$155mil (RM485mil) just a year ago amid increased profits at Britain's fashion retailer Laura Ashley in which he reportedly holds a 40% stake.
Interest in Khoo's wealth emerged following reports he and his wife, former Miss Malaysia Pauline Chai. 66, are seeking a divorce in Britain.
There is speculation that Chai may claim 50% of his wealth, which she is entitled to under British law.
Based on the current market capitalisation of Laura Ashley which stands at about £220mil (RM1.06bil), the 74 year-old's stake is valued at some £88mil (RM422mil), making it possibly the single largest contributor to his net wealth.
In Malaysia, he is chairman and chief executive at Malayan United Industries Bhd (MUI) which he controls.
According to the MUI website, the group has businesses in retailing, hotels, food & confectionery, financial services and properties.
These businesses are via Metrojaya Bhd, Laura Ashley Holdings Plc, Corus Hotels UK, Corus Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Corus Paradise Resort Port Dickson, Network Foods Group, Network Foods Malaysia, PM Securities Sdn Bhd and MUI Properties Bhd.
The website says MUI Group has total assets of RM2.2bil (FY2012, unaudited) and shareholders' funds of RM740mil.
Khoo was also former chairman of the then Tourist Development Corp (now known as the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board), vice-chairman of Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) and a trustee of the National Welfare Foundation.