Somerset Divests Stake in Office Building at Tampines Finance Park
Singapore, August 22 - Somerset Holdings, through its subsidiary Somerset Commercial Development Pte Ltd, has signed a sale and purchase agreement to sell its stake in Ventura Place, a proposed nine-storey office building in Tampines Finance Park.
American International Assurance Company Limited (AIA) has agreed to purchase the entire issued and paid up capital for LC Ventura, the holding company for the office development, for $250,000. Somerset owns a 60 per cent stake in LC Ventura while SembCorp Construction Pte Ltd owns the remaining 40 per cent.
The sales shares transaction will be conditional upon issuance of the Temporary Occupation Permit for Ventura Place which is expected in the first quarter 2002.
Upon completion, AIA will then discharge the shareholders' loans extended by Somerset and SembCorp Construction to LC Ventura amounting to $30.58 million and bank credit facilities expected to reach $92 million for financing the completion of the project.
The transaction will not have a material impact on Somerset's net tangible assets or earnings per share.
The sale is in line with Somerset Holdings' strategy to divest its non-core assets and focus on its main serviced residence business.
Ventura Place at Tampines Finance Park is purpose-built to meet the needs of banks and financial institutions looking to decentralise their back-office operations to a more cost-effective location.
The state-of-the-art development offers large floor plates of over 1,700 sq metres of column free space for functional efficiency in office layouts. It also has raised flooring for speedy under-floor cabling and trunking, and designated floor areas for heavy loading of 7.5 KN/sq metres for compactus and mainframes.
The high-tech building with 15,462 sq metres gross floor area is within walking distance of the Tampines MRT station. It is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2002.
Several banks and financial companies have moved their back office business functions to offices in Tampines Finance Park due to the large savings in operational costs in relocating them outside the Central Business District.
SOMERSET HOLDINGS LIMITED
Somerset Holdings, the public-listed hospitality and retail subsidiary of Pidemco Land Limited, has one of the largest portfolios of serviced residences and retail properties in the Asia Pacific region.
With over $2.1 billion in assets, it owns or manages over 3,200 executive residences and 307,000 square metres of retail space in 21 cities in 11 countries.
Its Somerset Residences brand comprises three tiers - Somerset Heritage luxurious black and white bungalows for CEOs and top-level executives, Somerset Grand elegant residences in prime business districts for top and senior executives, and Somerset Executive network of residences for middle and senior executives.
Somerset International, the management arm of Somerset Holdings, has over 15 years' international experience, specialising in the management of executive residences, shopping malls, hotels / resorts. It adds value to attractive retail and hospitality investments through its strong brand and management capabilities.
Ida Lim, Vice President
Investor Relations & Corporate Communications
Issued by: Somerset Holdings Limited