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Centurion unit buys South Korea's Benikea Hotel for S$16.6m

CENTURION Corporation, which owns and manages workers accommodation facilities as well as student housing assets, on Monday said that it would buy South Korea's Benikea Hotel for S$16.6 million and refurbish it for use as student accommodation.

The property is located in the Dongdaemun district within Seoul, and will be converted from a 104-room three-star hotel into a 208-bed accommodation. The projected capital expenditure is about S$4.55 million. 

The acquisition will be through a joint venture, whereby Centurion Overseas Investments - a wholly owned subsidiary of the company - will own a direct 55 per cent interest in the property. South Korea's KTM Distributions will hold another 5 per cent, while the last 40 per cent will be held by Centurion Properties, which is in turn held by the controlling shareholders of Centurion Corporation, David Loh and Han Seng Juan. 

The property is within walking distance to four universities, and will primarily target students studying in nearby education institutions. It may also operate as a hotel during the school summer break. 

This acquisition would mark Centurion's first move into the North Asia market. The property is expected to begin contributing to Centurion's earnings once the refurbishment is completed by the first quarter of 2019, Centurion said.

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Shares of Centurion closed on Monday at S$0.425, down half a cent, or 1.16 per cent. 

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