Blackstone Said to Put Sime Darby Singapore Property on SaleBy
Blackstone bought majority stake in the Sime assets last year
CBRE Group said to advise Blackstone on Singapore asset sale
Blackstone Group LP plans to sell one of the office and retail assets it acquired last year from Malaysian palm-oil producer Sime Darby Bhd., according to people familiar with the matter.
The New York-based private equity firm expects to fetch about S$300 million ($214 million) for the Sime Darby Centre in the Bukit Timah area, which it bought for just under S$200 million, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. CBRE Group Inc. is advising Blackstone on the sale, the people said, without identifying any of the prospective buyers.
Blackstone in May acquired a majority stake in three Singapore property assets, including the Sime Darby Centre, in a deal that valued them at about S$300 million. Located in an aging commercial block on Dunearn Road, a residential artery lined with upmarket condominiums, the Sime Darby Centre is spread across 250,000 square feet of which about 80 percent is office space and the rest is retail.
Charlotte Bilney, a spokeswoman for Blackstone, declined to comment.
Blackstone owns a 70 percent stake in the Sime Darby Centre and Sime owns the rest. The conglomerate, Malaysia’s biggest listed palm-oil producer, sold some property assets in Australia and Singapore to help pare debt.
The site could attract bids from large and mid-sized Singapore developers including Far East Organization, City Developments Ltd., Frasers Centrepoint Ltd. and United Industrial Corp, one of the people said. Representatives at the companies didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment.
Blackstone, which manages more than $100 billion in real estate assets worldwide, in the past has bought residential apartment blocks in Singapore’s prime area. The firm did a deal with City Developments in 2014 to take part in a financing for a luxury hotel, retail and residential development on Sentosa island. Recently, it was shortlisted as of one the bidders for acquiring Global Logistic Properties Ltd., the $9 billion warehouse operator backed by Singapore’s sovereign fund.
Peter Grauer, chairman of Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, is a non-executive director at Blackstone.