Lend Lease sells Singapore property stake for S$227m

The Sydney-based property and infrastructure group has set up a fund to buy the stake with capital from a small group of global institutional investors.

Lend Lease, a Sydney-based global property and infrastructure group, has sold its 25 percent stake in Jem, a suburban retail and office asset in Singapore, to a small group of institutional investors for S$227 million (€135 million; $181 million), the firm said in a statement.

To buy the stake, Lend Lease has raised a separate single-asset real estate fund, Lend Lease Jem Partners Fund (LLJP), which attracted investors “including a number of new institutional investors to the group’s investment management platform,” the statement said. Though no longer an investor, Lend Lease will continue its involvement by serving as the fund’s investment manager.

LLJP will operate as a core, open-ended fund, and was only offered to specific institutional investors in the US and Asia with which Lend Lease had a relationship before, according tRob Hattersley, chief investment officer of Lend Lease's investment management platform. The fund has so far raised approximately S$450 million over a 12-week period, Hattersley told PERE, primarily for investing in Jem and possibly other suburban retail assets in Singapore.

Jem originally was a development project acquired in 2010 via a 25:75 joint venture between Lend Lease and its open-ended Asia Retail Investment Fund (ARIF). ARIF will continue to hold its 75 percent stake in Jem, according to the statement.

The mall component of Jem only just opened on June 15, but the 1.2 million-square-foot retail and office property already had 100 percent of its retail space let 10 weeks in advance to both local and global occupiers. Jem’s office component is scheduled for completion later this year and is fully let on long-term leases to Singapore’s Ministry of National Development, the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority and the Building and Construction Authority.

With $13.2 billion in assets under management, Lend Lease’s investment management platform spans the Asia-Pacific region and the UK. Its investor base consists of 150 institutional investors, including sovereign wealth funds, pension plans and insurance companies.