GIC buys LG Twin Towers in Beijing for over $1.59b

Located in the Guomao central business district in Beijing, LG Twin Towers comprises two Grade-A office towers and a retail podium. PHOTO: GIC

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC has acquired LG Twin Towers from South Korean conglomerate LG Group for over eight billion yuan (S$1.59 billion).

Located in the Guomao central business district in Beijing, China, the integrated development comprises two Grade-A office towers and a retail podium, GIC said in a media statement on Wednesday (Feb 12).

The development has a total gross floor area of 140,680 square metres and a diversified tenant mix.

It is situated along Changan Avenue, a key artery road in Beijing, and offers direct access to the Yonganli subway station.

Noting that GIC has been investing in China for more than two decades, Lee Kok Sun, chief investment officer of GIC Real Estate, said: "China remains a key focus for us, and this investment reflects our continued commitment to identifying attractive opportunities in this market."

He added that GIC expects LG Twin Towers to benefit from the strong demand for offices in central Beijing and to generate resilient returns over the long term.

In other GIC news, Bloomberg News reported that GIC-backed PT Triputra Agro Persada is gearing up for an initial public offering in Indonesia that could raise about US$500 million (S$693.2 million), according to people familiar with the matter.

The plantation company, which also counts Indonesian tycoon Theodore Rachmat's Triputra Group and buyout firm Northstar Group as shareholders, has held preliminary discussions with some banks for the potential first-time share sale that could value the business at more than US$2 billion, Bloomberg said. The company is seeking to list in Jakarta as early as the end of this year, it quoted the sources as saying.

Owners of Triputra Agro had considered selling the business, seeking a valuation of about US$1 billion, Bloomberg reported in 2018. An IPO was also an option at that time, sources told Bloomberg. The latest move comes after crude palm oil prices rebounded more than 40 per cent from an almost four-year low, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Deliberations are still at an early stage and the plantation company could still decide against undertaking the IPO, the people said. Representatives for GIC, Northstar and Triputra Group declined to comment.

Triputra Agro Persada and affiliates currently have 170,000 hectares of planted area across 27 estates, Bloomberg said. Palm oil, the world's most consumed edible oil, is found in everything from shampoo to sweets.

GIC and Northstar bought a minority stake in Triputra Agro Persada for US$200 million in 2012 and completed a follow-on investment in 2016.

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