Datuk Michael Chooi Becomes A Significant Shareholder Of EcoFirst

According to a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, Datuk Michael Chooi Yoey Sun, the co-founder of kitchen cabinet manufacturer Signature International Bhd, has emerged as a substantial shareholder of property company, EcoFirst Consolidated Bhd with an 5.155% stake as of January 24.

Chooi acquired 20 million shares in the open market in the last 14 days. He further acquired another 40 million shares via an off-market transaction through Wawasan Fokus Sdn Bhd. EcoFirst closed at 56 sen today with a market capitalisation of RM659 million.  

EcoFirst is a mid-sized property player with prime landbank in the Klang Valley, notably in Ampang, Sungai Besi, Shah Alam and Damansara Damai. The Company is currently in the development planning stage for the next phase of its Ampang Ukay flagship project. It is proposing a mixed-use development and residential development following the successful completion of the Liberty Arc development.

The flagship Ampang Ukay mixed development is a seven-phased project on an 87-acre landbank situated in Ukay Heights that has an estimated gross development value (GDV) of more than RM4 billion. In recent years, EcoFirst had switched its focus to sell affordable houses to the M40 or middle class group of Malaysia due to the demand in this segment. 

Meanwhile, Chooi is best known for co-founding Signature Kitchen with his partner Tan Kee Choong back in 1994, where they supplied and installed built-in kitchen and wardrobe systems. Signature International was subsequently listed on the Main Board of Bursa Malaysia in 2008. 

After 27 years in the company, Chooi ceased to be a substantial shareholder of Signature, after he sold his shares to Chin Hin Group Bhd in April 2021. He also resigned as executive director to pursue other opportunities.  

He is currently a major shareholder of Scanwolf Corporation Bhd with a 12.878% stake. 

Commenting on the emergence of the new shareholder in EcoFirst, Alternative Director Dato’ Kenneth Teoh Seng Kian said, “We are extremely pleased to welcome Datuk Michael Chooi as a strategic shareholder in EcoFirst. With his expertise and proven track record in growing Signature International, we look forward to exciting prospects and innovations ahead for EcoFirst.”

Chooi Yoey Sun too, said he was pleased to be a shareholder of EcoFirst. He has yet to decide whether to request a board seat following his substantial stake in EcoFirst.

“Firstly, EcoFirst has solid management. This has enabled the company to be profitable over the last decade despite the challenging outlook. The management are savvy property players with the key trait of patience. This trait has allowed them to buy prime landbank during opportune times. Thus, they are able to enjoy low land cost. I look forward to value-adding in the company in a steady and sustainable manner,” said Chooi Yoey Sun.

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