Lian Beng, Apricot buy Wilkie Edge for $280m

The mixed-use commercial and residential building near Little India has a balance lease of 88 years and 99 per cent occupancy.
The mixed-use commercial and residential building near Little India has a balance lease of 88 years and 99 per cent occupancy.PHOTO: CAPITALAND

The mixed-use commercial and residential building Wilkie Edge, near Little India, is being sold for $280 million.

Lian Beng Group and Apricot Capital, the private investment firm of Super Group's Teo family, have agreed to acquire Wilkie Edge from CapitaLand Commercial Trust (CCT).

This works out to a price of $1,812 per square foot (psf) based on the building's net lettable area, and a price of $1,299 psf based on gross floor area.

The sale is expected to be completed in September, CCT said in a bourse filing yesterday.

Lian Beng and Apricot are making their purchase via their 50:50 joint venture company, Lian Beng (8). The sale price is 39.3 per cent above Wilkie Edge's valuation of $201 million or $1,301 psf as at Dec 31, and 53.3 per cent more than its 2008 purchase price of $182.7 million.

CCT said it expects to recognise an estimated net gain of about $76 million over the valuation of Dec 31 last year.

Located at the junction of Wilkie Road and Selegie Road, Wilkie Edge is a leasehold 12-storey development comprising office and retail units as well as a serviced residence, Citadines Mount Sophia Singapore. It has a balance lease of 88 years and 99 per cent occupancy.

Ms Lynette Leong, chief executive of the manager of CCT, said: "Assuming all the net proceeds from the sale are used to repay existing debt, CCT's aggregate leverage as at March 31 would decrease from 38.1 per cent to 35.7 per cent.

"Together with our recent sale of 50 per cent of One George Street, the sale proceeds will give us comfortable headroom to invest in opportunities that will continue to generate sustainable returns for our unit holders."

Mr Ong Pang Aik, Lian Beng's executive chairman, said: "It is our strategy to seek strategic investment to enhance our property investment portfolio, which in turn will improve our recurring income into the long term, mitigating the more cyclical nature of our other business segments."

Lian Beng said its half of the purchase price, or $140 million, would be funded through bank borrowings and/or internal resources.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 04, 2017, with the headline 'Lian Beng, Apricot buy Wilkie Edge for $280m'. Print Edition | Subscribe