YCH in tie-up with Chinese firm

YCH Group and Shanghai-based Forchn Holdings has signed a deal that centres on a transfer of assets.
YCH Group and Shanghai-based Forchn Holdings has signed a deal that centres on a transfer of assets. PHOTO: ST FILE

HANGZHOU • A Singapore supply chain management company has linked up with a Chinese e-commerce logistics services firm to expand their businesses in South-east Asia and beyond.

YCH Group and Shanghai-based Forchn Holdings signed a deal yesterday that centres on a transfer of assets. YCH will sell 13 of its logistics real estate assets in China, India and countries in South-east Asia to EC World Reit.

The real estate investment trust is managed by EC World Asset Management, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Forchn Holdings. Forchn is also the Reit's sponsor.

The assets, with an estimated value of $400 million, will expand the Reit's portfolio beyond China. After the acquisition - which is subject to further negotiations and regulatory approval - YCH will continue to lease and run the assets.

The deal also involves Forchn transferring a "significant stake" of EC World Asset Management to YCH. This will also include board representation. Neither company revealed the size of YCH's share in the Reit's manager.

YCH Group executive chairman Robert Yap told The Straits Times that this is "just a start", and the aim is for the Reit to build a portfolio spanning an entire network across China, South-east Asia and other Belt and Road countries. "It will be a formidable portfolio," he said.

Forchn Holdings chairman Zhang Guobiao said both firms are leveraging their strengths to expand in South-east Asia. "Our expertise is in e-commerce logistics, and we can use YCH's extensive network and channels to enter South-east Asia," he added. "There are also many Chinese companies running industrial parks and factories in the region, and together we can offer a comprehensive set of services combining YCH's supply chain management solutions and our e-commerce logistics offerings to them."

Both firms also announced yesterday that they will launch a US$150 million (S$198 million) Forchn-YCH Belt Road Initiative Logistics Real Estate Private Equity Fund in the second half of the year. The fund will invest in warehousing and logistics assets in key cities across the Belt and Road countries. The Belt and Road Initiative is China's plan to connect the country with the rest of Asia, Africa and Europe through a series of infrastructure projects.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 25, 2018, with the headline 'YCH in tie-up with Chinese firm'. Print Edition | Subscribe