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23 June 2009

KHAZANAH & BOUSTEAD JOIN FORCES TO DEVELOP EDUCATIONAL THEME PARK

23 June, 2009, Kuala Lumpur – The Government’s investment arm, Khazanah Nasional Berhad (“Khazanah”), through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Themed Attractions and Resorts Sdn Bhd (“TAR”), together with Government-Linked Boustead Holdings Berhad (“Boustead Group”) marked a significant milestone today by signing a licensing agreement via their Joint Venture company, Rakan Riang Sdn. Bhd. (“RRSB”), to develop KidZania Kuala Lumpur. RRSB is 80% held by TAR and 20% held by Boustead Curve Sdn Bhd (a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Boustead Group).

KidZania Kuala Lumpur will be an indoor educational theme park which allows children to experience adult occupations first hand. It will be located in Mutiara Damansara in a new 7-storey building diagonally across from the Curve. The building will be physically linked to the Curve via a sky bridge. The RM50 million KidZania theme park will occupy approximately 60,000 square feet on Levels 6 and 7 of the proposed building and is expected to be open to the public at the start of 2012. It hopes to attract some 500,000 visitors per annum.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Y.A.B. Tan Sri Dato’ Haji Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin, Khazanah’s Managing Director YBhg. Tan Sri Dato’ Azman Hj. Mokhtar and Director of Boustead Group, YBhg. Dato’ Ghazali Mohd Ali. The licensing agreement was signed by Founder and CEO of KidZania S.A. de C.V., Mr. Xavier Lopez Ancona and YAM Tunku Ali Redhauddin ibni Tuanku Muhriz on behalf of RRSB.

KidZania was named the Best Theme Park Worldwide by The Themed Entertainment Association in 2001. In both 2003 and 2006 it was awarded the Top Family Entertainment Centre of the World by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (“IAAPA”). Just last week, KidZania was named Global Leisure Operator of the Year by Retail & Leisure International (“RLI”), in an awards ceremony in London.

YBhg Tan Sri Dato’ Azman Mokhtar commented: “We are heartened to collaborate with Boustead on this unique project, which represents Khazanah’s second investment in theme parks. This investment reflects our continued commitment to catalyse the domestic economy by investing into sectors that have high multiplier effects. KidZania on its own could boost the services industry, and is a strong complement to the education and entertainment sectors.”

“KidZania will take edutainment to another level as children will be able to learn how to be responsible members of the society and at the same time, get inspired to achieve success in the future.”

YBhg. Dato’ Ghazali Mohd Ali, Director of Boustead Group added: “Mutiara Damansara is certainly recognised as a vibrant and fully integrated township as it captures the lifestyle needs of today’s modern family. As such, we are pleased to have this synergistic alliance with Khazanah to introduce KidZania to Malaysians as it will reinforce the value proposition and popularity of Mutiara Damansara.”

“We are confident that the location for KidZania Kuala Lumpur is indeed an ideal one given that its neighbouring commercial entities such as the Curve, [email protected], IKEA, IKANO and Tesco will drive further traffic to this latest theme park. Coupled with the fact that KidZania Kuala Lumpur offers a high level of parent-child interaction, this will resonate very well with our target market which places great emphasis on family values.”

“More importantly, we believe that KidZania will provide us with a positive return on investment based on the strong response and success experienced by KidZania in other countries.”

“We are very proud to establish KidZania in Malaysia with Khazanah and the Boustead Group – we could not imagine better partners. Their commitment to foster education and moral values through entertainment mirrors the KidZania mission. Together, we truly can help children to get ready for a better world,” said Mr. Xavier Lopez Ancona, Founder and CEO of KidZania S.A. de C.V.

KidZania is a family entertainment centre where children play adult roles in a child-sized replica of an actual city with streets, buildings, shops as well as vehicles moving along its streets. In this city, children learn about the adult world, active social interaction and the value of money and work. Children can work as doctors, firefighters, policemen, journalists or be involved in 100 other role-playing activities at more than 40 establishments to earn income in the form of “kidZos”, which they can then spend elsewhere in the KidZania city or save in their own KidZania bank accounts. Apart from this, renowned brands and products will be featured and incorporated into the city environment to create a truly realistic atmosphere.

KidZania is the brainchild of Mexican entrepreneur, Mr. Xavier Lopez Ancona, a former GE Capital executive. The first KidZania opened its doors in 1999 in the Santa Fe Shopping Mall of Mexico City; this facility has maintained an annual average attendance of over 800,000 visitors since opening. KidZania has also opened its doors in Monterrey, Mexico; Tokyo and Koshien (outside Osaka) in Japan; Jakarta, Indonesia; and Lisbon, Portugal. KidZania is already developing additional locations in South Korea, Dubai, Chile, Thailand, India, China and Turkey.

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