CDL invests $15m in Chinese firm Distrii

Distrii, an operator of co-working spaces, has nine facilities in Shanghai, including one in Suhe Centre (left). It is planning to expand to other cities as well.
Distrii, an operator of co-working spaces, has nine facilities in Shanghai, including one in Suhe Centre (above). It is planning to expand to other cities as well.PHOTO: CDL

City Developments (CDL) said that it has signed an agreement to invest 72 million yuan (S$14.9 million) for a 24 per cent stake in Distrii, an operator of co-working spaces in China.

Marking its first international foray, Distrii will lease more than 60,000 sq ft of space at CDL's Republic Plaza Tower 1, a prime Grade A office building connected to the Raffles Place MRT station.

Expected to be one of the largest co-working facilities in Singapore, it will integrate food and beverage, entertainment, recreational and office facilities, said CDL.

Distrii's co-working facility at Republic Plaza is expected to open in the first half of next year as the space is still leased out.

Distrii will also be opening a new facility in Beijing in the first half of this year and plans to further expand in that city as well as in Guangzhou, Shenzhen and other global cities. Its nine existing locations in Shanghai are at 80 per cent capacity.

Last year, Distrii secured an angel investment from an investment arm of Huazhu Hotels Group. Nasdaq-listed Huazhu owns and operates over 3,000 hotels across 350 cities in China.

CDL deputy chief executive officer Sherman Kwek said: "We have been actively looking for innovative offerings and new growth platforms that are complementary to our core businesses of real estate and hospitality.

"With the burgeoning sharing economy, an increasingly mobile workforce and a greater requirement for flexibility, we see strong potential in co-working spaces and the demand for them has been rapidly growing. Our investment in Distrii enables us to immediately gain entry into the sector and will contribute to CDL's long-term recurring income streams."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 21, 2017, with the headline 'CDL invests $15m in Chinese firm Distrii'. Print Edition | Subscribe