Be Living has a gross development value of £2.5bn

Swimming pool

Malaysian-based property developer EcoWorld International has acquired the majority stake in Willmott Dixon’s residential development business.

The firm, which is already working in joint venture with Ballymore on three residential projects in London, including Embassy Gardens (pictured) in Nine Elms and Wardian in Canary Wharf, is aiming to quadruple its presence in the UK.

Willmott Dixon’s Be Living residential business has a land bank of nearly 6,700 units with a minimum gross development value of £2.5bn.

The deal is expected to complete next month and includes a majority stake in Be Living’s management platform, as well as the development business.

Rick Willmott, chief executive of Willmott Dixon, said: “The proposed investment, by EcoWorld International, is the culmination of our long-term strategy to inject additional capital to support Be Living’s growth plans as a stand-alone business following its demerger from Willmott Dixon last year.”

Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Liew Kee Sin, executive vice chairman of EcoWorld International, added: “EcoWorld International sees great potential in the UK market and this deal shows our ambition to further grow our business here.”

Willmott Dixon is being advised by, Barclays, CBRE and Clyde and Co. EcoWorld International is being advised by DLA Piper and KPMG.0