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Wee Hur Holdings to expand student accommodation business in Australia

WEE Hur Holdings announced on Friday that its purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) business trust in Australia has, through its wholly-owned-sub-trust, acquired properties there for a total consideration of A$46 million (S$44 million). 

The acquisitions are are in line with the group's strategy to venture into Australian-focused PBSA with the aim of collecting passive recurring rental income, it said in a regulatory update. 

Its PBSA business trust, Wee Hur PBSA Master Trust, was established by the company to manage its PBSA business in Australia, and it has a 60 per cent interest in it. The acquisitions were made in two transactions through the Master Trust's sub-trust, WH Regent Trust.

The first acquisition was made by The Trust Company (Australia), in its capacity of a trustee of the sub-trust for units in Regent Street, Redfern, in Sydney for a total consideration of A$36 million from an unrelated and independent party. 

The Trust Company also entered into a contract for the sale and purchase with The Council of City of Sydney for the acquisition of a property at 90 Regent Street, Redfern, Sydney, for a total consideration of A$10 million.

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The completion of the second acquisition is subject to, and conditional upon receipt of, the written confirmation from The Foreign Investment Review Board of the Commonwealth of Australia (FIRB).

The acquired properties consist of a mix of ground-floor retail units and upper-floor residential strata units. The group intends to redevelop the properties into a PBSA with approximately 459 beds. The properties have an area of 1,287 sq m  and will be delivered with vacant possession upon settlement.

Wee Hur said the acquisitions are not expected to have a material impact on earnings per share and net tangible assets per share of the group for the current financial year ending Dec 31, 2020. 

Shares of Wee Hur closed on Friday at S$0.19, up 1.3 Singapore cent or 7.4 per cent. 

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