Singapore-listed TT International said it has signed an agreement with private equity real estate firm Lucrum Capital, which will invest at least S$200 million to complete the Big Box project, a mega retail warehouse located in Jurong.
In a statement, TT International said it has started exclusive discussions with Lucrum’s wholly-owned subsidiary Lucrum Development (Singapore) for the proposed investment.
Under the agreement, TT International’s interest in the project will be transferred to its wholly-owned subsidiary, Big Box Pte Ltd, and Lucrum Development will have the option to acquire up to 49 per cent shareholding in the unit.
TT International has to date invested S$95 million in the Big Box project, including acquiring the land from Jurong Town Corporation and undertaking some foundation work on the land.
Construction work was halted during the 2008 and 2009 global financial crisis as TT International underwent a financial restructuring.
The Big Box, an eight-storey warehouse retail store with a gross floor area of about 1.3 million square feet, is located just next to Jurong MRT station.
It is targeted to be completed at the end of 2013 and will be the last and largest of four warehouse retail projects approved by Singapore’s Economic Development Board under the Warehouse Retail Scheme, the other three being outlets for IKEA, Courts and Giant in the eastern part of Singapore.
Wong Ah Long, chairman of Lucrum Capital, said: “The location itself, the potential itself, it reminds me of what we did many years ago for Marina Centre, from forming Suntec City, Millennium Centre into what it is today and that is something we can replicate again within the next five years.”
TT International’s executive director Julia Tong said: “As part of our efforts to deliver shareholder value, TT International intends to develop Big Box successfully in Singapore and then export this homegrown warehouse retail concept to countries in the region.”
Meanwhile, Lucrum Capital’s director David Batchelor said the project meets with its “long-term objectives” and that the company “believes in the impending growth potential of Jurong Gateway as Singapore’s largest regional centre.”
Source : Channel NewsAsia – 4 Jan 2012