St James calls for trading halt ahead of reverse takeover vote

SINGAPORE - Shares of St James Holdings were halted from trading ahead on Friday ahead of a shareholder vote today on the proposed reverse takeover of St James by Perennial Real Estate Holdings (PREH).

In the first phase of the transaction, PREH and other vendors will be injecting unlisted assets into St James for S$1.56 billion via the issuance of new shares.

Upon completion of Phase 1, St James would be renamed Perennial Real Estate Holdings Limited (PREHL) and transferred from the Catalist to the mainboard. It would become a real estate developer with assets in China and Singapore.

The St James' entertainment business will be divested to CityBar Holdings and taken private. Owner Dennis Foo is retiring.

The second phase of the transaction is a share swop for the remaining units of the PREH-sponsored business trust Perennial China Retail Trust, at 70 cents a piece in exchange for new shares, into PREHL.

PREH's assets include Chijmes, TripleOne Somerset and Capitol Singapore here, as well as 11 Chinese assets including the iconic Beijing Tongzhou Integrated development and large-scale integrated developments connected to high-speed rail stations in Xian and Chengdu.

St James has 13 bars and clubs in Singapore, including Peppermint Park and Mono, both in its sprawling St James Power Station venue and the mandopop club Shanghai Dolly at Clarke Quay.