Yanlord, Perennial-led consortium acquires key stakes in United Engineers from OCBC, Great Eastern

An outlet at Rochester Mall, which is part of United Engineers' portfolio.
An outlet at Rochester Mall, which is part of United Engineers' portfolio.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - One of Singapore's oldest companies, United Engineers (UE), is set to be the subject of a takeover bid as part of deals worth $1.83 billion.

A consortium led by Chinese property developer Yanlord Land Group and Singapore landlord Perennial Real Estate Holdings has bought a 33.5 per cent stake in UE, founded in 1912, at $2.60 a share.

The consortium intends to make a mandatory general offer for the rest of the engineering and property development and hospitality company at the same price.

Through the consortium, Yanlord Perennial Investment (Singapore) - Yanlord, Perennial and its two sponsors - Mr Kuok Khoon Hong and Wilmar International, and an investor - have also agreed to buy 29.9 per cent in UE unit WBL Corp at $2.07 a share.

The consortium has acquired a 10 per cent stake in WBL and is committed to acquire another 19.9 per cent stake at a later date. If the consortium manages to own more than 50 per cent of UE, an offer will be made to buy the remaining shares in WBL at $2.07.

At the offer prices, UE and the WBL stake are worth $1.83 billion.

The deal would cap a three year-long push by OCBC to offload its stake in United Engineers, whose properties include Singapore shopping centres like Rochester Mall and the UE BizHub City mixed-used development.

Credit Suisse Group was advising OCBC and insurance unit Great Eastern Holdings on a strategic review of their stakes in United Engineers.