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APSIL to acquire Century 21 (AsPac) and merge it with unit Global Alliance Property

SOON after completing its acquisition of property agency Global Alliance Property (GAP) Pte Ltd, Asia-Pacific Strategic Investments Ltd (APSIL) is shoring up its agent strength by acquiring another firm - this time, Century 21 (AsPac) Pte Ltd.

In a regulatory filing with the Singapore Exchange on Friday, APSIL said that its wholly owned subsidiary GAP has inked a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the two shareholders of Century 21 (AsPac) - Luke Ng Kai Man and Chong Chai Shyong - to acquire all their shares in Century 21 (AsPac).

A merger of GAP and Century 21 (AsPac) was later announced to all agents of GAP and C21 franchisees here in an internal memo sent by Century 21 Singapore CEO Ku Swee Yong on Friday - reflecting the next step by APSIL.

"Through this merger, GAP brings their sales force of 686 agents to give us a total headcount of 1,091 salespersons across 21 franchisee offices," Mr Ku said in the email to agents. The combined sales force of GAP and Century 21 franchisee offices will turn it into the seventh-largest agency here in headcount if all these agents are accounted for.

The group's divestment of HMS Capital, which owns its bereavement care services business, was completed on Thursday. It reported on Friday a steeper net loss of RM9.3 million (S$3.1 million) for the second quarter ended Dec 31, 2015, after a net loss of RM7.6 million in the year-ago period, no thanks to allowance for impairment of trade and other receivables as well as a fair value loss on financial assets.

The proposed acquisition of Century 21 (AsPac) is the latest in a series of investments by the Catalist-listed Malaysian group for its new core business in real estate as it exits the loss-making bereavement care services venture.

This followed an earlier acquisition of Century 21 Hong Kong, a sub-franchisor of the Century 21 brand in Hong Kong and Macau which was solely owned by Mr Ng.