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Singapore Property News

SingHaiyi takes 20% stake in TripleOne Somerset

THE consortium led by Mr Pua Seck Guan's Perennial Real Estate Holdings that is acquiring TripleOne Somerset for $970 million has been revealed to include his usual partners.

Posted on 10-Jan-2014

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SingHaiyi takes 20% stake in TripleOne Somerset

THE consortium led by Mr Pua Seck Guan's Perennial Real Estate Holdings that is acquiring TripleOne Somerset for $970 million has been revealed to include his usual partners.

The familiar names - such as Mr George Quek's BreadTalk Group, Mr Wong Fong Fui's Boustead Singapore, and Mr Ron Sim in his personal capacity - had joined forces with Perennial on several previous property forays here.

But there was also a surprising name: Catalist-listed developer SingHaiyi. It is the second largest partner in the consortium that is buying the Orchard Road building from a fund managed by Pacific Star. The deal is expected to be completed by March.

Perennial is the single largest shareholder with a 42.6 per cent stake.

The 20 per cent stake is SingHaiyi's first foray into commercial property in Singapore.

The 17-storey building, which has two floors of retail space and two office towers, will be undergoing works enhancement costing $150 million.

The acquisition of TripleOne Somerset exemplifies SingHaiyi's investment ambition, not just in Singapore but also overseas.

The company recently picked up two distressed real estate assets in the United States and is in talks to buy another two or three properties there, its new group managing director Serena Chen said at an interview yesterday.

Madam Chen, who became group managing director on Dec 1 last year, is from China and became a permanent resident here in 2003. Her husband is duty- free tycoon Gordon Tang, a major shareholder and non-executive director at SingHaiyi.

Speaking in Mandarin, Madam Chen said the firm was seeing more opportunities in the US. It was specially interested in states that it is more familiar with such as California and Texas, she said.

SingHaiyi's non-executive chairman is Texas-based Mr Neil Bush, the brother of former US president George W. Bush. Mr Bush brought in the lead that led to SingHaiyi's acquisition of a mall in Ohio, Madam Chen said.

SingHaiyi paid US$45 million (S$57 million) for the Tri-County Mall in Cincinnati, one of the largest cities in Ohio, in September last year.

The company said in a statement yesterday that this price was about 77 per cent below the asset's unaudited net book value as at June 30 last year.

It also snapped up Vietnam Town, a partially completed commercial condominium project in San Jose, California, for US$33 million in November last year.

Vietnam Town was meant to have 256 homes of about 1,000 sq ft each but when SingHaiyi bought it, only 115 homes had been built, of which 64 had been sold.

SingHaiyi said it aims to sell the remaining 51 completed homes by next year and use the proceeds of about US$28 million to pay for the construction of the 141 unbuilt homes.

The company also said yesterday that one of its executive directors, Mr Chan Tung Moe, will resign on Feb 28 this year.

Mr Chan, 35, formerly chief of project development, will not stay on the board. The firm told the Singapore Exchange that he was leaving to "dedicate time to focus on other personal matters".

SingHaiyi's shares closed flat at 2.2 cents yesterday.

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