Property veteran, Wilmar chief setting up joint venture vehicle

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On April 19, 2012
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Straits Times: Thu, Apr 19

PROPERTY veteran Pua Seck Guan, who left CapitaLand to set up his own real estate company about two years ago, has roped in palm oil tycoon Kuok Khoon Hong to his venture.

The two businessmen and several other investors have agreed to set up a new joint venture vehicle, Perennial Real Estate Holdings, to seek investment opportunities in Singapore and China.

The vehicle has a target capital size of $500 million.

Mr Kuok, the chief executive and chairman of Wilmar International, is the nephew of ‘sugar king’ Robert Kuok.

Under the deal, Mr Kuok Khoon Hong will hold a 49.5 per cent stake in the joint venture vehicle, while Mr Pua will take up a 20 per cent stake. The remainder will be held by other investors, including Mr Martua Sitorus, who is deemed a substantial unit holder of mainboard-listed Perennial China Retail Trust (PCRT).

The joint venture vehicle will take a 49 per cent interest in Mr Pua’s company, Perennial Real Estate. Mr Pua will keep the remaining 51 per cent.

Perennial Real Estate has a 78 per cent interest in the trustee manager of PCRT.

The joint venture vehicle will also have full ownership of Perennial (China) Retail Management, the property manager of PCRT.

Mr Kuok is not new to Perennial as he has been a director of PCRT’s trustee manager since last September.

Yesterday, the company said he had raised his stake in PCRT to 16.9 per cent from 5 per cent. Mr Sitorus, who is a director of Wilmar, has also increased his stake to 5.7 per cent from 3.2 per cent.

Both paid an average of 44.625 cents a unit. The seller was Shanghai Summit, which disposed of its entire 14.9 per cent interest in PCRT.

Analysts said the significant increase in Mr Kuok’s involvement in Perennial has given the trust a firmer backing.

‘Mr Kuok is familiar with the skill sets of the team and its pipeline of good projects,’ said a source.

PCRT units yesterday ended half a cent higher at 49.5 cents on a volume of 1.8 million units.

Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd

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