Following its takeover by Temasek Holdings-backed investment firm Cuscaden Peak on 30 June, the manager of SGX-listed SPH REIT has named three new directors to its board, including Cuscaden chief executive Gerald Yong.
As part of a set of exchange filings on 15 August, the commercial REIT laid out the new composition of its board, which is being reshaped in the wake of the $2.9 billion buyout of Singapore Press Holdings’ non-media assets by Cuscaden, a newly established company backed by Mapletree Investments, CapitaLand Group and Ong Beng Seng, a son-in-law of the late Singaporean tycoon Peter Fu Yun Siak and husband of socialite Christina Ong.
In addition to Cuscaden’s Yong, who will be serving as a non-independent, non-executive director, hotel industry veteran Jennie Chua and investment manager Eugene Lai are joining as independent directors. All three appointments took effect from Monday.
New Board in Place
In addition to serving as deputy chairman, Chua will chair the board’s nominating and remuneration committee as well as being named to the audit and risk committee.
A prominent businesswoman in Singapore, Chua founded fast food company Beeworks in 2013. She is also chair of the Woodlands Health Campus development committee, Singapore Film Commission advisory committee, Vanguard Healthcare and Temasek Foundation International.
Private equity veteran Eugene Lai has been appointed as lead independent director and will chair the audit and risk committee as well as sitting on the nominating and remuneration committee. Lai, managing director of Southern Capital Group, is also a Securities Industry Council member and chairman of accounting and corporate services firm Boardroom.
Yong will serve as a member of both the audit and risk committee as well as the nominating and remuneration committee.
With the three new directors joining, Soon Tit Koon, the current chairman of the SPH REIT audit and risk committee, will retire from its board after nine years.
Leong Horn Kee, SPH REIT chairman, said: “On behalf of the board, I would like to welcome our new directors, who will be valuable assets to the team given their diverse experiences and expertise in various business leadership roles with established companies and institutions.”
Malls Under New Ownership
Cuscaden Peak closed on its purchase of SPH’s non-media assets on 30 June after topping a rival offer from Keppel Group, Following the takeover, Cuscaden and its consortium members now own 61 percent of SPH REIT.
As at 31 August 2021, SPH REIT’s portfolio comprises five commercial properties in Singapore and Australia spanning 962,955 square feet (89,461 square metres) in net lettable area) and an aggregate value of S$3.3 billion ($2.4 billion).
Focused on retail properties, the listed trust owns the Paragon shopping centre on Orchard Road, as well as the Clementi Mall at the Clementi Town Centre.
Note: This article has been updated to show that Cuscaden now owns 61 percent of SPH REIT.