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FCT completes AsiaRetail Fund stake buy; Bedok Point sale to close on Nov 9

FRASERS Centrepoint Trust (FCT) now wholly owns AsiaRetail Fund (ARF), having completed the purchase of the latter's remaining 63.11 per cent interest from Frasers Property.

As a result, the existing portfolio management agreement and asset management agreements signed with Frasers Property Corporate Services (Singapore) will be terminated.

In a filing late Tuesday night, FCT's manager said it will perform the asset management role in respect of ARF.

Also, the Singapore property-holding companies of ARF's five malls - Tiong Bahru Plaza, Central Plaza, White Sands, Hougang Mall and Tampines 1 - have been converted into limited liability partnerships (LLPs). Aside from these malls, ARF owns the Central Plaza office property as well.

Following the LLP conversions, the real estate investment trust (Reit) has been granted tax transparency treatment for its share of the taxable income of each of the LLPs, received via sub-trusts.

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The FCT manager said in another filing that about 76.3 per cent or S$1.02 billion of the gross proceeds from the equity fundraising were used to fund the ARF share acquisition.

Some 21.3 per cent or S$284.9 million of the proceeds went into paring down existing debts.

The preferential offering and private placement under the equity fundraising exercise were both priced at the bottom end and fully subscribed.

Separately, for Frasers Property's proposed acquisition of Bedok Point mall from FCT, the property developer on Tuesday night announced that all the conditions precedent have been fulfilled.

The buyer, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Frasers Property, plans to exercise the call option on Oct 29, and the deal will then be completed on Nov 9.

FCT's manager last month responded to unitholders' queries about its S$108 million sale of Bedok Point, given that the mall was acquired at S$129 million. The manager said the property's size constraint and lack of direct connectivity to key transportation nodes limited its ability to be the dominant mall within Bedok Town Centre.

As at 10.07am on Wednesday, FCT units dropped S$0.04 or 1.7 per cent to trade at S$2.27, while Frasers Property shares were flat at S$1.14.

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