Straco Corp inks deal to buy Singapore Flyer for $140 million

SINGAPORE - Mainboard-listed tourism company Straco Corporation has agreed to buy the troubled Singapore Flyer for $140 million in cash.

The acquisition "represents an expansion of the group's core tourism related business," Straco told the Singapore Exchange on Thursday.

The Flyer, which cost $240 million to build, came under the spotlight in May last year when the company behind the now six-year-old attraction was placed in receivership.

It was later put up for sale, with advertisements appearing in major newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal in the United States.

Straco is behind several well-known tourist attractions in China such as the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium and Underwater World Xiamen.

It was tipped as the Singapore Flyer's new owner earlier this week.

Straco is led by founder and executive chairman Wu Hsioh Kwang, a prominent local businessman who is chairman of the culture, education and community affairs committee at the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and vice-chairman of tourism and leisure for the Chinese business group at the Singapore Business Federation.

It is buying the Flyer via its subsidiary Straco Leisure, and the purchase includes both the giant observation wheel and the lease of the property, which is at 30 Raffles Avenue.

Straco shares have been surging steadily since last year, soaring from as low as 26 cents in January last year to close at 82 cents on Wednesday.

Trading in the counter was halted on Wednesday evening and will resume on Friday morning.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.