Business Briefs: ESR and GIC to set up $673m joint venture

ESR and GIC to set up $673m joint venture

Logistics real estate developer ESR Cayman and Singapore wealth fund GIC will enter into a joint venture with a total of US$500 million (S$673 million) in equity commitment to develop institutional-grade logistics facilities in key cities across China.

The venture is subject to the relevant regulatory approval, Hong Kong-listed ESR, which is the sponsor of Singapore-listed ESR Reit, said yesterday.

The total gross floor area of the China portfolio assets held on ESR's balance sheet and in the funds and investment vehicles it manages comprised 6.62 million sq m, while total assets under management exceeded US$4.39 billion, as of June 30 last year.

Bloomberg reported last month that ESR, which is backed by private equity firm Warburg Pincus, is considering an initial public offering (IPO) of a real estate investment trust consisting of its South Korean assets that could take place as early as this year.

ESR raised US$1.8 billion in its own IPO in November.

Nissan planning for possible Renault split: FT

Nissan Motor executives have stepped up contingency planning for a possible split from Renault after former chief Carlos Ghosn's dramatic escape from Japan, the Financial Times (FT) reported, citing people it did not identify.

The preliminary discussions for a separation include a total split in engineering and manufacturing as well as changes to Nissan's board, according to the newspaper. Renault and Nissan declined to comment, the FT said.

Renault chairman Jean-Dominique Senard, who is due to announce several combined projects for the alliance in the coming weeks, had doubts about the partnership enduring when he replaced Ghosn last year, the paper said. Nissan's new chief executive Makoto Uchida has been working closely with Mr Senard on these projects, a person close to Nissan management said.

But even during the Ghosn era, according to people close to Nissan, some engineers were not happy about Ghosn's push to combine engineering and manufacturing.

According to the FT, both carmakers would likely seek new partners in the event of a full split.


Koh Brothers siblings to buy firm's condo units

Two family members of Koh Brothers Group's executives will each buy a unit in the company's 69-unit freehold luxury condominium Van Holland.

The mainboard-listed developer said on Saturday that its wholly owned subsidiary, KBD Holland, had granted siblings Benjamin Koh Yong Jun and Rachel Koh Han Ling the option to purchase the apartments, both on the third storey of Block 188.

Mr Koh may buy a unit at $1.5 million, while Ms Koh may buy one at $2 million. Both sale prices were arrived at after applying a special staff discount of 3 per cent on the public list price.

This discount is granted to all employees and their respective immediate families for the purchase of any units in the condominium, the firm said.

Mr Francis Koh Keng Siang, the firm's managing director and group chief executive officer, is the siblings' father. The group's executive chairman, Mr Koh Tiat Meng, is their grandfather, while non-executive and non-independent director Quek Chee Nee is their grandmother.

Mr Benjamin Koh, Ms Rachel Koh, their brother and their mother are also substantial shareholders of the company, although Koh Brothers did not disclose the stakes they own.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 14, 2020, with the headline 'Business Briefs'. Subscribe