A potential buyer has entered into an expression of interest (EOI) with Oxley Beryl, which owns the former Chevron House, to acquire the retail and banking units in the Raffles Place development for S$315 million, Oxley Holdings said in a bourse filing on Tuesday evening.

The property developer did not identify this buyer and did not state whether it is linked to Golden Compass (BVI) – the purchaser named in Oxley Holdings’ proposed S$1.025 billion sale of the property announced last April.

As part of the sale and purchase agreement with Golden Compass, Oxley Holdings would divest the retail and banking units. Oxley Holdings announced in May 2019 that this divestment would be conducted via one or more rounds of an EOI process open to the public, with the consideration to be paid in cash.

A refundable deposit of S$3.15 million has been received from the unidentified buyer for the units, the mainboard-listed company said.

Under the EOI, the prospective buyer may opt to ink a binding sale-and-purchase agreement with Oxley Beryl by June 15, 2020. Thereafter, the divestment of the units is expected to be completed by June 30, 2020, Oxley Holdings said.

Chevron House at 30 Raffles Place is a 32-storey commercial development with a net lettable floor area of 261,280 sq ft.

Last September, the building’s two strata lots for retail or food & beverage use and three strata lots for office or banking hall use – altogether spanning seven storeys – were launched for sale by JLL and Cushman & Wakefield. The lots could be purchased individually, collectively, or on a per-floor basis under that EOI exercise, which ended in October.

The guide price for the retail space was S$5,000 to S$5,500 per square foot (psf) of net lettable area while that for the office space was S$3,000 to S$3,300 psf, based on strata floor area, JLL and Cushman & Wakefield said then. Based on The Business Times’ calculations, those guide prices worked out to a total indicative price tag of between S$461.7 million and S$507.9 million, in the event that all five lots are purchased together.

Oxley Holdings inked a deal in April last year with US real estate fund AEW. The latter, through its investment vehicle Golden Compass, was to buy the entire interest in Oxley Beryl and assume its existing bank loans for an aggregate value of up to S$1.025 billion.

The first phase of the deal has since been completed, with Golden Compass paying S$210 million and receiving an 82.35 per cent stake in Oxley Beryl, according to Oxley Holdings’ filing in June 2019.

Golden Compass will pay the balance of the consideration and discharge Oxley Beryl’s bank loans upon the finalisation of the deal, after which the remaining 17.65 per cent of shares in Oxley Beryl will be transferred to Golden Compass.

The final completion will take place after alterations, additions and asset enhancement works are completed at the property, and after the retail and banking units are divested.

Oxley Holdings had paid S$660 million for the Raffles Place development in December 2017.

Shares of Oxley Holdings finished Wednesday at 24 Singapore cents, up 1.5 cents or 6.7 per cent.

Source: https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/companies-markets/oxley-unit-finds-buyer-for-chevron-house-retail-banking-units-at-s315m

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