Frasers Property announced today that it has agreed to buy the property manager of a Singapore commercial real estate portfolio, picking up the company from PGIM for an undisclosed amount.
The sale of AsiaMalls Management Pte Ltd by the real estate fund management unit of Prudential Group comes after Frasers Property Group boosted its ownership stake in the PGIM fund which owns the portfolio of five malls and one office building in Singapore managed by the company to nearly 88 percent over the last year.
In a statement to the Singapore exchange, Frasers Property Retail, a unit created by the property conglomerate controlled by Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakd late last year to focus on retail opportunities, said that its acquisition of the property manager would allow it to drive greater operational synergies across a Singapore portfolio which now includes 14 retail malls in the city-state.
Mall Manager to Become Part of Frasers Retail Unit
“Our acquisition of AsiaMalls Management allows us to further strengthen our retail capability,” Low Chee Wah, chief executive officer at Frasers Property Retail said in the statement. “With the management of a wider network of suburban malls island-wide, we will unlock greater operational synergies that allow us to compete more effectively in this fast-evolving retail landscape.”
A long-time Frasers executive, Low was made CEO of the retail property specialist upon its creation in in October last year when the group restructured its Frasers Property Singapore unit and then-CEO Chris Tang retired from his leadership role.
In response to an inquiry from Mingtiandi, a spokesperson for PGIM Real Estate said that the company will continue to be the portfolio manager and asset manager for the AsiaRetail fund and its portfolio.
Frasers Property Retail’s new acquisition currently provides property management for the Century Square, Hougang Mall, Tampines 1 and White Sands shopping centres in Singapore, as well as the Tiong Bahru Plaza and Central Plaza office tower in the city’s Bukit Merah area.
The six suburban properties are held by PGIM Real Estate Asia Retail Fund Ltd, which Frasers Group took a majority stake in during the first quarter of last year. Following the acquisition of AsiaMalls Management the company will become a subsidiary of Frasers Property Retail Management Pte Ltd and will continue to provide property management services to the PGIM fund’s portfolio.
Frasers Takeover of PGIM Fund Continues
Frasers Group raised its combined stake in PGIM Real Estate Asia Retail Fund to just under 88 percent at the end of September last year as some of the existing investors in the decade-old vehicle elected to redeem their shares, according to a report by DBS Bank.
That third quarter sale came after Frasers Property agreed to purchase a 17.8 percent stake in the fund for S$356.4 million (then $262.7 million) during February of 2019. Then in March last year, Frasers Property Ltd and Frasers Centrepoint Trust, a REIT managed by a unit of the Singapore-listed developer, together agreed to acquire an additional 31.66 percent stake in the PGIM retail portfolio for a combined S$635 million.
In April of last year Frasers Centrepoint Asset Management Ltd, the manager of Frasers Centrepoint Trust, announced to the Singapore exchange that it had chosen former PGIM executive Richard Ng as its new CEO. During his time at PGIM, Ng had led asset management for PGIM Real Estate Asia Retail Fund.