UK-headquartered property investment company Chelsfield and Singapore-based ARA Asset Management have jointly purchased a commercial tower in Singapore for S$555.5m (€358m).
Chelsfield Asia has entered a 50-50 joint venture with a private real estate fund managed by ARA to acquire the Manulife Centre in Bras Basah Road.
The vendors are Alpha Asia Micro Trends Fund II, a fund managed by Alpha Investment Partners, and City Developments, a Singapore-based property group.
Nick Loup, Chelsfield Asia CEO and group vice chairman, said the building will be used to deliver a “new and unique” office concept that caters for the rise of co-working practices and a growing expectation among Millennial workers for the inclusion of food-and-beverage and retail space.
Ng Beng Tiong, assistant group CEO and CEO of ARA Private Funds, said the property is popular with companies seeking convenience and accessibility.
Ng said: “With the tightening of quality office supply, coupled with rising demand from occupiers, we believe the Singapore commercial market is poised to deliver robust growth over the next few years.”
Chelsfield Asia will add the asset, its first purchase in Singapore, to the portfolio of Chelsfield Asia Fund 1.
The fund was launched in 2017 to invest in under-performing office and retail assets in key Asian gateway cities, including Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Shanghai.
The fund made its first investment in Hong Kong just over a year ago with the purchase of Provident Square, in the district of North Point on Hong Kong island, for HK$2bn (€223m), in joint venture with local investment adviser Pamfleet.
Chelsfield set up its Asian operation following the acquisition of the Dymon Asia Real Estate business in 2016.
Manulife Centre is the second asset to be sold by the Alpha Asia Macro Trends Fund II, set up 2013. The fund has entered into its wind-up phase and is expected to sell more assets from its US$1.65m (€1.45m) portfolio.
It has already divested the wholly-owned Shanghai International Plaza, an office and retail mixed-use property in Shanghai in April last year to LaSalle Asia Opportunity Fund V.