CapitaLand, CDL complete S$400m Liang Court mall purchase

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CAPITALAND and City Developments Ltd (CDL) completed their S$400 million acquisition of Liang Court mall on Friday.

The two property groups confirmed the completion of the purchase by their equal joint venture, in a statement to BT.

"The new owners' immediate focus is the daily operations of the mall.

"As part of their active asset management strategy, the joint-venture partners will continually explore ways to enhance the value of the asset," they added.

This confirms an earlier BT story in March that a put-and-call option agreement had been entered into between the mall's owner at the time, an entity linked to PGIM Real Estate, and CapitaLand and CDL.

Market watchers said that with the completion of the transaction, control of the overall Liang Court mixed-development complex has been reduced from three parties previously to two, and that this should facilitate its redevelopment.

Besides the mall, the other two components of the Liang Court complex are: Somerset Liang Court Singapore serviced residence, which is owned by CapitaLand's listed unit Ascott Residence Trust; and the Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay hotel, owned by CDL's indirect subsidiary CDL Hospitality Trusts (CDLHT).

Completed more than three decades ago, the Liang Court complex is located beside the Clarke Quay riverside area and is next to the Fort Canning Station on the Downtown Line.

It is also a short distance from the Clarke Quay Station on the North-East Line.

The site has a leasehold tenure of about 97 years from April 1980, leaving 58 years on its lease.

Under the Urban Redevelopment Authority's Draft Master Plan 2019, the site is zoned for commercial and residential use.

The Liang Court complex was developed in the early 1980s by tycoon Goh Cheng Liang's Wuthelam Group.

In the deal just completed, the mall has been sold by the PGIM Real Estate Asia Retail Fund, an open-end private investment vehicle managed by PGIM Real Estate, the property investment business of PGIM, Inc, which in turn is the global investment management business of US-based Prudential Financial, Inc.

Source: Business Times, 1 Jun 2019