Mapletree ‘in talks to buy HK’s Festival Walk’

Mapletree Investments, a property arm of Singapore investment company Temasek Holdings, is in discussions to buy the Festival Walk retail complex in Hong Kong’s Kowloon Tong district, the Sing Tao Daily reported yesterday, citing an unnamed person familiar with the matter.

Sing Tao said Hong Kong conglomerate Swire Pacific may divest Festival Walk for HK$22 billion (S$3.5 billion). If successful, the sale would be the biggest property transaction in the city’s history, the newspaper said, without citing anyone.

In a statement filed with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Swire Pacific confirmed it was in talks to sell a “significant investment property asset”. But it declined to comment on the report. Mapletree also declined comment.

Completed in 1998, Festival Walk sits on top of the Kowloon Tong subway station on the Kowloon Peninsula. The more than 1 million-sq-ft mall features tenants including clothing brands Calvin Klein and Giorgio Armani and department store Marks and Spencer. It also has 220,000 sq ft of office space.

Swire Pacific has been selling property assets after shelving a plan to spin off its real estate unit last year in an HK$20.8-billion initial public offering because of what it called “the deterioration in market conditions”.

Source : Today – 29 Jun 2011