Tuan Sing Holdings buys Sime Darby Centre for $365m

Sime Darby Centre sits on a commercial site of 140,886 sq ft that is part freehold and part 999-year leasehold.
Sime Darby Centre sits on a commercial site of 140,886 sq ft that is part freehold and part 999-year leasehold.BT FILE PHOTO

Developer Tuan Sing Holdings is buying Sime Darby Centre in Bukit Timah for $365 million.

The property at 896 Dunearn Road sits on a commercial site of 140,886 sq ft that is part freehold and part 999-year leasehold, with an allowable gross plot ratio of 1.8 and a maximum permissible gross floor area of 253,595 sq ft. It is 96 per cent occupied over a net lettable area of around 202,712 sq ft, with tenants such as kitchenware retailer ToTT, Scanteak, Cold Storage and ChildFirst pre-school.

New York-based private equity giant Blackstone Group had bought a 70 per cent stake in Sime Darby Centre for just under $200 million last year from Malaysian palm oil producer Sime Darby Berhad, according to media reports.

Tuan Sing's purchase would mean Blackstone has racked up a 25 per cent gain on its investment.

Tuan Sing, which told the Singapore Exchange yesterday it expects to complete the deal in about 10 weeks, plans to "reposition the property into a hub of activities".

The firm believes "there is a significant potential for commercial activities that can serve the needs of the vast residential community in the vicinity... (it) is confident that the asset shall be an excellent investment that will generate long-term revenue and profit".

Group chief financial officer Chong Chou Yuen told The Straits Times that Tuan Sing will "undertake a review of the current tenancy mix and introduce some new and exciting food and beverage brands and restaurants, medical facilities as well as enrichment and education centres". He said there will also be a significant office component that will add to the diversity of the tenancy mix, and the firm will also look into making full use of the link between the property and King Albert Park MRT station.

The purchase, to be financed by internal and external resources, will be carried out by Tuan Sing's wholly owned unit Gerbera Land. Tuan Sing said the deal is not expected to have any material impact on the net tangible assets or earnings per share of the group for the current fiscal year ending Dec 31. Tuan Sing shares closed up half a cent or 1.5 per cent at 34 cents yesterday, after the deal was announced.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 11, 2017, with the headline 'Tuan Sing Holdings buys Sime Darby Centre for $365m'. Print Edition | Subscribe