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Roxy-Pacific, Teo Tong Lim's family office to buy Melbourne tower for A$145m

350 Queen Street - Melbourne - CBRE website (2).JPG
Situated in Melbourne's central business district, the property houses offices, retail offerings, and community amenities.

MAINBOARD-LISTED property developer Roxy-Pacific Holdings and the private family office of Teo Tong Lim have joined hands to potentially acquire a 21-storey Melbourne office building for A$145 million (S$140.5 million).

Roxy-Pacific on Tuesday announced it had invested in a 40 per cent stake in Singapore master trust TE-Roxy Commercial Trust I at a committed capital of A$27 million, which will be financed by internal funds.

The other 60 per cent interest in TE-Roxy is held by Mr Teo's family office, TE2 Group. Mr Teo is the managing director of property developer and investment house Tong Eng Group, which is well known in the Melbourne market.

TE-Roxy will hold the entire interest in a Singapore company TECT I. In turn, TE-Roxy and TECT I will together wholly own Australian head trust TE Australian Trust I as well as Australian sub-trust TE Skyhigh Trust.

Roxy-Pacific's subsidiary, Roxy Australia Capital, will enter into an agreement with TE2 Group and other parties to govern the rights and obligations of each investor in relation to the units in the trusts.

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The trusts were set up to establish an incorporated joint venture with the objective of acquiring the building at 350 Queen Street in Melbourne.

A sale and purchase agreement to buy the property for A$145 million, not including stamp duty and due diligence costs, has been signed, Roxy-Pacific said. 

Under the agreement, TE Skyhigh Trust will be the acquiring entity. The proposed property acquisition is subject to conditions including TE Skyhigh Trust obtaining approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board in Australia.

Roxy-Pacific said the purchase price was arrived at after taking into account commercial factors such as the location of the property and the recent transacted prices for other properties in the vicinity.

The Australian Financial Review (AFR) reported on Tuesday morning that the acquisition was agreed on an initial yield of 4.8 per cent, which is considered a relatively tight yield for a B-grade building in a market with increased leasing risk amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The buyers plan to pursue a 12-month refurbishment programme for the tower, which was built in the 1980s, AFR added.

Situated in Melbourne's central business district, the building houses offices, retail offerings, and community amenities. It has a freehold tenure with a total site area of 1,787 square metres (sq m) and a net lettable area of 21,914 sq m.

The proposed property acquisition will be financed by internal funds and bank financing taken out by the trusts, Roxy-Pacific said.

The company added that its investment into TE-Roxy, the joint venture and the proposed acquisition are all in its ordinary course of business.

The potential deal was announced before Australia's Victoria state is set to start a six-week lockdown. On Tuesday afternoon, Premier Daniel Andrews said the state will reimpose stay-at-home restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne and one regional area of the state, after a record daily rise in Covid-19 infections. Starting Wednesday midnight, people must stay home except for work, essential services, medical treatment or school.

Shares of Roxy-Pacific fell 0.5 Singapore cent or 1.5 per cent to trade at 34 cents as at 2.12pm on Tuesday.

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