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Vibrant Group in talks over proposed sale-and-leaseback for its facility

VIBRANT Group's subsidiary, LTH Logistics (Singapore), is currently in exclusive discussions with an international real estate fund about the possible sale and leaseback of its chemical logistics and warehousing facility for over S$220 million.

The company made the announcement in a filing to the Singapore Exchange on Friday.

Located at 121 Banyan Drive, the property comprises two plots of land: one with a six-storey ramp-up warehouse facility and ancillary offices; the other with two blocks of single-storey warehouse facility and an open yard. 

Vibrant highlighted, however, that the proposed sale and leaseback is still subject to negotiations and there is no assurance that talks will result in a definitive agreement or transaction.

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Meanwhile, in an update on its application for extensions to release the group's unaudited financial statements for FY18 and 1QFY19 as well as an extension to hold its annual general meeting, it said that the extensions are still pending approval from SGX.

Commenting on its Blackgold subsidiaries, chief executive of Vibrant Group, Eric Khua, said: "While our day-to-day operations remain resilient as we execute on our strategy, we continue to work to comprehensively address issues arising from our Blackgold subsidiaries. We are committed to closing our books as soon as possible regardless of progress made on our investigations into Blackgold. Vibrant is fully committed to discharging its duty to safeguard the interests of our stakeholders."

On Sept 10, it was reported that eight of Vibrant's subsidiaries held through its fully-owned subsidiary Blackgold International Holdings are being sued for allegedly failing to meet certain payment and guarantee obligations under a 500 million yuan (S$99.6 million) loan facility for which they had provided security.

The suit was filed by China Minsheng Banking Corporation in the Chongqing People's High Court. At the time, Vibrant said that it had not provided any guarantee or security in respect of the bank borrowings, loans, debts or other liabilities of the Blackgold Group, and that China Minsheng has no recourse to Vibrant on this claim.

In another filing on Sept 14, it said that China Minsheng had successfully applied to the Chongqing People's High Court against 11 parties - including eight of Blackgold's subsidiaries - for an order to freeze, seize or detain bank deposits and other assets amounting to 39.65 million yuan.

In August, Vibrant said it had appointed Ernst & Young Advisory to carry out a special audit into irregularities at Blackgold, as well as its assets and accounting records. On Aug 9, a vehicle carrying accounting records of a Blackgold unit caught fire near a coal mine in China, with Blackgold reporting the fire to the local police as a suspected deliberate act to destroy the records.

Shares in Vibrant closed at 17 Singapore cents on Friday, up 0.1 cent.