Bereavement care services provider APSIL plans move into real estate agency business

SINGAPORE - Catalist-listed bereavement care services provider Asia-Pacific Strategic Investments Ltd (APSIL) said Tuesday it is moving "decisively" into the real estate agency businesss.

The Malaysian company announced on Tuesday that it will be acquiring Global Alliance Property Pte. Ltd. for $2.75 million. The target company was recently formed from the merger of two local players, Global Property Strategic Alliance Pte. Ltd. and More Property Pte. Ltd., who have a combined base of about 800 real estate agents.

Said Dr Choo Yeow Ming, APSIL's chief executive officer: "This proposed acquisition will help to kick-start the new core business that we are looking to build, as we prepare to divest our current loss-making bereavement care services. We remain committed to revitalising APSIL and enhancing shareholder value, and bringing the Group back onto a sustained path of profitability and growth."

APSIL said the purchase amount of $2.75 million will be payable in two tranches. The first tranche, comprising $1.25 million, will be paid in cash. The second tranche, worth $1.5 million, will be paid in APSIL shares within two months after the completion of the acquisition of Global Alliance Property.

APSIL has made two earlier announced moves into the real estate agency business. , ASPIL had proposed the acquisition of a real estate agency sub-franchisor and the development of an online property portal.

The first was a proposal to acquire 100% of Century 21 Hong Kong Ltd a sub-franchisor that grants the Century 21 franchise to licensed real estate brokers in Hong Kong and Macau. When completed, this acquisition will also give APSIL access to Century 21's marketing and operating systems as well as its retail networks.

APSIL also agreed to partner China Real Estate Development Union Group Limited and the Oei Hong Leong Foundation to jointly develop an online property transaction platform for overseas Chinese investors and enterprises.

Said Dr Choo: "Together with our joint-venture partners, we believe we can quickly develop and rollout a unique and scalable online platform that will effectively service the needs of affluent Chinese property investors around the world, who are looking for a seamless way to build a diversified real estate portfolio across the globe."

To help fund its push into a new core business, APSIL has proposed a rights-cum-warrants issue, consisting of up to 3.37 billion new ordinary shares with 3.37 billion warrants, to raise up to $16.9 million. In addition, the Group expects to raise a further RM10.7 million (about S$3.8 million) through its proposed divestment of HMS Capital Sdn Bhd , which owns its bereavement care services business.