Frasers Centrepoint's board approves potential S$196m investment in Thai property group

SINGAPORE - Mainboard-listed Frasers Centrepoint Ltd (FCL) said its board has approved a potential strategic investment in Golden Land Property Development Public Company Ltd (Gold), which is listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

FCL will pay 4.97 billion baht (about S$196 million) to subscribe for new ordinary shares in Gold at 7.25 baht per share. This represents a premium of 1.4 per cent over Gold's last closing price on Nov 6.

Univentures Public Company Ltd now holds 55.7 per cent of the issued share capital of Gold. Adelfos Company Ltd, which is 50:50 owned by Mr Panote Sirivadhanabhakdi and Mr Thapana Sirivadhanabhakdi, is a major shareholder of UV.

Mr Panote Sirivadhanabhakdi is also a director of FCL, and both he and Mr Thapana Sirivadhanabhakdi are immediate family members of Mr Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi and Khunying Wanna Sirivadhanabhakdi, who are directors and controlling shareholders of FCL.

If FCL and Gold agree on terms of the agreement, upon completion of the proposed transaction, FCL will hold approximately 29.5 per cent of the enlarged issued share capital of Gold while UV will hold approximately 39.3 per cent.

Gold engages in residential and commercial property development, and property management and property advisory services, in Thailand. Its residential real estate business focuses mainly on single- and semi-detached housing and townhouse residential projects under the flagship brand of "Golden", as well as a few mixed-used commercial and hospitality projects in Bangkok's central business district.

On the rationale for this venture, FCL said the board considers the Gold to be complementary to its business profile and would present a suitable opportunity for FCL to re-enter the Thai residential and commercial property markets and leverage on FCL's controlling shareholders' strong home market advantage.

"In particular, the target group's business profile has a shared philosophy with FCL, which is to capture the broad base residential market in the mid-income segment and with a focus on growing recurring income from its commercial property developments," FCL added.

Gold also plans to embark on larger mixed-use projects and to establish a real estate investment trust platform. FCL said its international experience and interest in these areas will complement Gold's long-term growth aspirations.