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Crane rental firm MS Holdings plans diversification into South Korean integrated resorts construction

CRANE rental firm MS Holdings on Monday said that it plans to explore a "strategic cooperation" with LongRunn International Group, a builder of integrated resorts in Asia, in acquiring a land parcel in the Incheon Free Economic Zone of South Korea.

The cooperation, based on a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU), will have the partners develop the land parcel into a casino amenity as well as a complex for residential, commercial and tourism uses. The proposed project is valued at about US$80 million.

MS Holdings said that it expects the company to issue new shares representing 25 per cent of its enlarged share capital, in exchange for an 8 per cent stake in the proposed project. 

The diversification strategy comes as the crane rental business remains challenging due to "intense competition as well as difficult market conditions" faced by its customers in the construction, marine, logistics, oil-and-gas as well as infrastructure industries, said chief executive officer of MS Holdings, Yap Chin Hock, in a media statement.

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"The proposed partnership will enable us to diversify our business and participate in an integrated resort project which is conceptually similar to Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands. We look forward to partnering LongRunn to shape and transform the site into a world-class integrated resort destination."

Shares of MS Holdings last traded at S$0.065.