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Stake in Legoland Malaysia for Sale Amid Khazanah Reshuffle (Report)

Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional is considering a sale of its stake in the Legoland Malaysia Resort, according to local media reports. The theme park is operated by the U.K. conglomerate Merlin Entertainments.

Khazanah swung into loss in 2018 and saw the realizable value of its investments decline by 22% to $33 billion (RM136 billion). Khazanah’s management was overhauled after Najib Razak’s government was removed from office. Operations are now likely to be split in to two parts, commercial and strategic, while non-core assets may be sold.

The commercial fund, returning above inflation returns, would include investments such as bank stakes and the minority shareholding in China’s Alibaba. The strategic fund is expected to retain assets including Malaysia Airlines and Telekom Malaysia, as well as the Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios and Themed Attractions Resort &Hotels, the current owner of Legoland Malaysia.

TAR&H says: “As the sixth Legoland in the world and the very first in Asia, Legoland Malaysia Resort brings together a Legoland park, water park and hotel in one Lego-themed location. It is the ideal family holiday destination with more than 70 hands-on rides, slides, shows and attractions.”

Khazanah also oversees Malaysia’s film production rebate scheme, which in November was announced as received a $7.3 million (RM30 million) cash injection. Last November’s budget also earmarked $24.5 million (RM100 million) for production at the studios.

Malaysia was due to see the opening of another major theme park, 20th Century Fox World, as far back as 2016. The project, a joint venture between 20th Century Fox and Malaysian resorts operator Genting, has now run into dispute. Genting, which says it has spent $750 million to date, says that Fox, under pressure from its soon to be owner Disney, is seeking to pull out of the project.

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