Published July 5, 2007

Lian Beng buys freehold cluster in Mountbatten

It pays $42m for 47,400 sq ft site with 8 semi-Ds in private treaty


LIAN Beng Group has acquired a cluster of eight freehold semi-detached houses along Mountbatten Road for $42 million through a private treaty, the company said yesterday.

The average price for the site works out to about $633 per square foot per plot ratio (psf ppr), inclusive of a development charge (DC), Lian Beng said. The company did not specify the amount of DC payable.

The 47,400 sq ft land parcel, which includes an adjoining piece of state land, has a plot ratio of 1.4 - giving it a maximum gross floor area of 66,400 sq ft. The site has the potential to be redeveloped into a 60-unit condominium averaging 1,100 sq ft each, Lian Beng said.

'Going by current market prices in the vicinity, the redeveloped units with condo facilities should be able to fetch $1,100 psf and above,' said Donald Han, managing director of property firm Cushman & Wakefield, which brokered the deal.

The project is expected to contribute positively to the group, said Lian Beng. 'This transaction is yet another step by Lian Beng Group to further its advancement in the property development business, which is synergistic with our existing core business,' said Ong Pang Aik, the company's managing director.

Lian Beng's core business is construction and the group is principally involved in the construction of residential, industrial, institutional and commercial projects, and civil engineering projects as a main contractor.

The latest acquisition comes two weeks after Lian Beng joined hands with three other property players to buy the freehold Lincoln Lodge off Newton Road for $243 million.

Together with Koh Brothers, Heeton Holdings and KSH Holdings, Lian Beng paid $1,449 psf ppr for Lincoln Lodge, including an estimated development charge of $413,000.

Shares of Lian Beng closed 0.5 cents down at 49 cents yesterday. The stock has appreciated 127.9 per cent since the start of the year.