PGIM Real Estate acquires 108 Robinson Road for US$107m

Citi Commercial Pte Ltd

PGIM Real Estate has acquired 108 Robinson Road for US$107 million, as part of its deeper push into Asia.

It comes as the real-estate unit of PGIM - the investment management business of Prudential Financial - had raised at least US$970 million in the fourth of its series of Asia-Pacific value-add funds, BT reported in February. 

In a press statement on Tuesday, Benett Theseira, PGIM Real Estate's head of Asia-Pacific, said the acquisition signals "our strong conviction in the recovery of the Singapore office market, as well as our proactive stance for real estate investments in the Asia-Pacific region". 

BT understands the seller of 108 Robinson Road is local private equity firm Sin Capital Group, which is in the midst of conducting a tender for the sale of Fullerton Healthcare Corp based in the building.

Sin Capital Group is led by David Sin, who is also Fullerton Health's executive deputy chairman and group president.

The transaction was first reported by real estate intelligence firm Mingtiandi. 

Formerly known as Finexis Building, 108 Robinson Road is a 12-storey freehold building in the central business district (CBD).

PGIM Real Estate said it deemed the property a rare freehold office asset, and its acquisition an "opportunistic (one) that offers numerous asset enhancement exit strategies".

Mr Theseira added: "With employers encouraging staff to return to the office and the strengthened position of Singapore as a leading regional financial and technological services hub, we expect to see continued growth in demand for office space in the CBD."

PGIM Real Estate had told BT that the latest fund, AVP IV, will invest in distinct and executable value-add and selective opportunistic strategies across Asia-Pacific real estate. These assets include offices, logistics, residential and retail properties, in both mature and emerging markets.

The firm intends to initiate an asset enhancement programme for the building which will include a facade upgrade and a new office lobby.

This is considering that its area and surroundings are expected to be further uplifted by ongoing refurbishment and redevelopment works to several properties in the vicinity, it said. 

It also plans to enhance the ESG (environmental, social and governance) quotient of the asset by, among others, conducting an overhaul of the building's mechanical and electrical systems to achieve the Building and Construction Authority's Green Mark Gold certification.

Earlier this month, BT reported that the sale of Fullerton Health may be facing setbacks despite drawing eight non-binding bids in its first round.

Market sources had told BT that potential investors were unconvinced by Fullerton Health's pitch that the Covid-19 pandemic had led to a "block buster" 2020 for the medical services provider.

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