Link Asset Management Limited (Link), the manager of Link Real Estate Investment Trust (Link REIT; Hong Kong stock code: 823), announced today (Wednesday) that it will acquire two suburban retail assets in Singapore – Jurong Point and Swing By @ Thomson Plaza (together “the assets”), from Mercatus Co-operative Limited (Mercatus) for a total consideration of S$2.161 billion.
Nicholas Allen, Link’s Chairman, said:
“The acquisition of Jurong Point and Swing By @ Thomson Plaza presents an exciting opportunity for Link to build its presence in Singapore, a robust economy with domestic price stability that is conducive to sustained growth. This is firmly aligned with our growth strategy to diversify and improve our portfolio mix across geographies and follows recent investments by Link in the region.”
George Hongchoy, Link’s Chief Executive Officer, said:
“Jurong Point and Swing By @ Thomson Plaza are important strategic investments for Link. Properties such as these, sizable suburban retail assets with high occupancy rates and stable rents, are traditionally tightly held and do not often come to market. This transaction allows us to build a dedicated team in Singapore and provides a base for Link to expand further into other asset classes and strategies in Asia Pacific. We look forward to leveraging our deep experience to develop these assets further into vibrant and flourishing centres for Singaporeans.”
Upon completion of the transaction, Link will be among the top 10 retail asset owners in Singapore covering a catchment of almost 10% of Singapore’s population, and the sixth largest shopping centre operator by footprint together with AMK Hub1.
The two properties are close to full occupancy and generated an annualised net property income of S$106 million as at October 2022. Jurong Point is one of Singapore’s largest suburban lifestyle malls with 720,000 square feet (sf) of net lettable area (NLA). It is located in one of 11 integrated transport hubs in Singapore attracting an average footfall of 5 million visitors a month. Swing By @ Thomson Plaza occupies level 1 and 3 of Thomson Plaza. It has an NLA of 110,000 sf and is conveniently located next to a station along Singapore’s newest MRT line, the Thomson-East Coast Line.
Link will leverage its deep experience in asset and property management to ensure the two malls continue to serve the needs and expectations of Singaporeans, while exploring opportunities to further enhance the facilities to improve shopper experience. It will also retain the existing teams managing the properties post-transaction, with a view to forming its new platform in Singapore and developing in-market knowledge.
As part of the transaction, Link will also enter into a 10-year asset and property management service agreement at market standard rate for AMK Hub – another suburban retail mall with an average footfall of about 2 million visitors a month – which will remain under Mercatus’ ownership.
Link will fully fund the acquisition through its cash resources and debt facilities. Upon completion, Link’s ratio of debt to total assets will change from 23.2% to 27.1%, based on its consolidated financial position as at 30 September 2022.
Link is also in active discussions with reputable like-minded investors and is open to bringing in capital partners for the assets.
The transaction is expected to complete on 31 March 2023.
Link would like to express its appreciation to Mercatus for this transaction and is looking forward to ensuring the continued success of these malls as well as the partnership at AMK Hub with Mercatus.
More details of the properties are available in the regulatory announcement and presentation.
High-resolution pictures can be downloaded here.
Link Real Estate Investment Trust (Hong Kong stock code: 823), is the largest REIT in Asia. It is managed by Link Asset Management Limited, a leading real estate investor and asset manager in the world. Since its listing in 2005 as the first REIT in Hong Kong, Link REIT has been 100% held by public and institutional investors. It is a constituent of the Hong Kong securities market benchmark Hang Seng Index, as well as a component of the Dow Jones Sustainability Asia Pacific Index, the FTSE4Good Index Series and the Hang Seng Corporate Sustainability Index. From its home in Hong Kong, Link Asset Management Limited owns and manages a diversified portfolio including retail facilities, car parks, offices and logistics assets spanning from China’s Beijing, Greater Bay Area (Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Shenzhen), and Yangtze River Delta centred around Shanghai, to the UK’s London and Australia’s Sydney and Melbourne. Link Asset Management Limited seeks to extend its portfolio growth trajectory and grasp expansion opportunities in different markets in pursuit of sustainable growth.
For details, please visit https://www.linkreit.com.