Construction firm Lian Beng Group buys 5.03% stake in Centurion Corp

Construction company Lian Beng Group has become a substantial shareholder of Centurion Corp by taking a 5.026 per cent stake in the Singapore-listed accommodation manager for about $21.7 million.

Centurion Corp said on Thursday that Lian Beng acquired 38 million shares in the company at 57 cents apiece in an off-market deal. A group of other private investors took up another 42 million Centurion shares.

The shares were sold by Centurion Corp's controlling shareholders, Centurion Properties and Mr David Loh Kim Kang. They sold 70 million shares and 10 million shares respectively, which together made up 10.58 per cent of Centurion's total shares.

After the sale, Centurion Properties and Mr Loh will hold a reduced stake in Centurion Corp of 55.4 per cent. They have agreed not to sell or place out any more shares for the next 18 months.

Centurion Corp and Lian Beng are partners in a joint venture company that owns a 141-unit ramp-up industrial building and a workers' dorm in Mandai. Centurion Corp holds a 45 per cent stake in the venture while Lian Beng owns the remaining 55 per cent.

All the units in the industrial building have been sold, while the 6,300-bedder dorm - Westlite Mandai - became fully operational last year, Centurion Corp said.

Mr Kong Chee Min, the chief executive of Centurion Corp, said: "Our joint venture has been a success and (Lian Beng) coming onboard as a shareholder further strengthens our working relationship."

Centurion Corp owns and operates workers' accommodation assets in Singapore and Malaysia, with 33,200 beds in total.

It also owns a land plot in Western Australia, where it intends to develop short-stay accommodation for mining workers and business executives; a student accommodation facility in Melbourne, Australia; and a land site in Jakarta, Indonesia for the development of worker accommodation.