1MDB Said to Plan Malaysia Power Asset Buy for $548 Million

1Malaysia Development Bhd., the state investment company also known as 1MDB, plans to buy the 1,400 megawatt coal-fired Jimah power plant for 1.7 billion ringgit ($548 million), said a person with knowledge of the matter.

The plant is located in Port Dickson, south of Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia’s Negri Sembilan royal family holds a 70 percent stake in Jimah Energy Ventures Holdings Sdn., which owns the power plant, the person said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. An official at 1MDB declined to comment on the potential purchase.

The acquisition would be the third of a power asset by 1MDB in the past year. The state-owned company bought billionaire T. Ananda Krishnan’s electrical power generation business for 8.5 billion ringgit in March and Genting Bhd.’s domestic energy operations for 2.3 billion ringgit in August.

1MDB plans to undertake an initial public offering for its energy unit to pare debt, a person with familiar with the deal said in August. The state-owned company, which is developing an $8 billion financial district in Kuala Lumpur, has total debt of 21 billion ringgit, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Energy is one of the group’s core areas of focus, Shahrol Halmi, 1MDB’s chief executive officer, said in a statement March 7, when it announced the acquisition of Ananda Krishnan’s power plants.