Published March 15, 2014

Peter Lim, Johor prince tie up to offer premium security in Iskandar

Joint venture to start with just guard services before providing full suite of security solutions

By malminderjit singh [email protected]

THE stage has been set for a Singapore company, with a royal touch, to beef up the security offering in Iskandar Malaysia.

Soverus Group, a local security solutions company owned by Singaporean businessman Peter Lim, and the prince of Johor, Tunku Abdul Rahman, have agreed to set up a premium security business in Iskandar Malaysia. Under a memorandum of understanding signed yesterday, the joint venture will tap the growing demand in Iskandar for good and reliable private security services.

Soverus will initially focus on Iskandar, which is expected to receive an influx of new foreign investors and residents, and security is a key consideration for them in establishing in the economic zone. Soverus also plans to eventually expand to other parts of Malaysia, specifically Kuala Lumpur and Penang, its CEO, Paul Lim, said at a press conference yesterday.

Soverus, whose initial business focus was on providing guard services, has expanded into providing a full range of security solutions, including consultancy, systems solutions, tagging, cybersecurity, big-data analytics, IT forensics and private investigations. According to Mr Lim, it plans to eventually offer this full suite of services in Iskandar although it will initially offer guard services when it starts its work there within three months.

"We have identified quite a number of companies (for acquisitions) and we are in the process of going through discussions, negotiations and due diligence," he said. "Certainly, we are looking at security agencies, companies with good track records, good clientele, good reputation and, in the area of security technology, systems integration. So those are our immediate focus at this point in time."

Mr Lim said there was already a substantial list of clients knocking on its door. "The minute our business has been officially launched, it will probably be launched with at least half a dozen to a dozen clients almost immediately."

He estimates up to 75 per cent of the demand for its services in Iskandar will be immediately for guard services while the rest seek services in consultancy and security technology.

Mr Lim did not rule out that Soverus could also be bidding for security services contracts for Mr Peter Lim's other business ventures in Iskandar.

Mr Peter Lim has emerged as one of the largest investors in the Iskandar region in the last two years. He owns a substantial stake in Rowsley Limited, which is developing a RM10 billion (S$3.85 million) integrated mixed-use development on 9.23 ha of prime land in Johor Baru City Centre. He is also behind the RM2 billion medical hub, Thomson Iskandar. His other investments in Iskandar include the RM3.2 billion motorsports city, FASTrack Iskandar.

He said that the 50-50 joint venture with Prince Abdul Rahman, son of Johor Sultan Tunku Ibrahim, provides strategic value to Soverus as he "knows the demography of Iskandar and Johor very well".