CEO Morning Brief

Author: edgeinvest   |   Latest post: Fri, 24 Mar 2023, 9:01 AM


Link REIT Buys Singapore Shopping Malls for S$2.16 Bil

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Link Real Estate Investment Trust chief executive officer George Hongchoy

SINGAPORE (Dec 28): Link Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) is buying a portfolio of Singapore shopping malls for S$2.16 billion (RM7.09 billion) from Mercatus Co-operative in its first foray into the city-state, it said on Wednesday.

The deal is for the acquisition of suburban retail assets Jurong Point and Swing By @ Thomson Plaza, along with a 10-year asset and property management service agreement for a third suburban mall, AMK Hub, which will remain under the ownership of Mercatus, Link REIT said in a stock exchange filing.

"This transaction allows us to build a dedicated team in Singapore and provides a base for Link to expand further into other asset classes and strategies in Asia Pacific," Link chief executive officer George Hongchoy said in a statement.

Link said it will fully fund the purchase through cash and debt, adding that it is in active discussions with investors and open to bringing in capital partners.

The announcement by Asia's biggest REIT confirms a Reuters report in November that cited sources saying Link REIT was the front runner to buy the assets from Mercatus, a unit of Singapore shopping mall owner NTUC Enterprise Co-operative, in what would be Southeast Asia's biggest real estate transaction of 2022.

The assets, described by analysts as a prized retail portfolio, were first offered about seven months ago.

On completion of the deal, Link REIT will be among the top 10 retail asset owners in Singapore, it said, adding that the transaction is expected to complete on March 31.

DBS bank was Link REIT's financial adviser on the deal.

Link REIT, which has a market value of US$15.3 billion (RM67.66 billion), has been on the prowl for assets in Singapore and other countries to diversify its portfolio.

The Hong Kong-listed REIT owns and manages assets including retail properties, car parks, and offices. Nearly three quarters of its portfolio is in Hong Kong, but it has expanded into mainland China, Australia, and Britain.

Source: TheEdge - 29 Dec 2022

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