Far East Orchard to sell share of Bassein Road site to its controlling shareholder

SINGAPORE - Far East Orchard (FEOrchard) is selling its share in two parcels of land at Bassein Road to its joint venture partner and controlling shareholder Far East Organization.

Mainboard-listed FEOrchard teamed up with Far East Organization in 2010 to acquire Pastoral View, through a collective sale, and the next door plot sold by OCBC Bank for a total of $122 million.

The two freehold sites at District 11 have a combined land area of 51,395 sq ft and are near Novena MRT Station. They are zoned for residential use with a 2.8 plot ratio and 36-storey allowable height under Master Plan 2008.

The properties were valued at $127 million last October.

As FEOrchard took a 30 per cent stake in both projects with Far East Organization owning the remaining 70 per cent, it the sale works out to $38.1 million for FEOrchard.

In a statement, FEOrchard said that following the completion of the purchase in April 2011, changes in the market circumstances - which included a significant and progressive slowdown in the residential property market as a result of a slew of cooling measures introduced by the Government since December 2011- have prompted it to abandon plans to develop the sites.

"The disposal would free up resources for the group to focus on other aspects of their business," it noted.

FEOrchard said it intends to utilise some $19.5 million of the proceeds to repay its portion of the outstanding loan on the propertes.

The balance of about $18.6 million will be used for general working capital and capital expenditure requirements .