Published March 8, 2010

1 Finlayson Green sold, say sources

Headline price is said to be $145 million


(SINGAPORE) The office block that is 1 Finlayson Green has been sold, BT understands.

The price is said to be about $145 million, or 37 per cent below the $230.88 million the seller had paid for the property in June 2007.

A unit of UK-based property fund group Develica is believed to have signed an agreement recently to sell the 19-storey freehold office tower to a foreign-domiciled fund initiated by low-profile Indonesian investor Norman Winata.

BT understands the sale is being effected through a sale of shares in the company that owns the asset.

Develica is understood to have borrowed from National Australia Bank, Hypo Real Estate and Citibank. Market watchers say the three banks would have consented for the sale to take place.

1 Finlayson's current net lettable area (NLA) is said to be about 89,000 square feet. Based on this, the latest transacted price of $145 million reflects about $1,630 per square foot.

A market watcher described the pricing as 'about right'. In January, CapitaCommercial Trust sold Robinson Point - a freehold, 21-storey office building - for $203.3 million or $1,527 psf, based on its NLA of 133,139 sq ft. 1 Finalyson Green's location is considered to be superior, being closer to Raffles Place MRT Station.

For 1 Finlayson Green, some market watchers suggest that there could be some other fees or costs associated with the transaction which could take its net acquisition price above the $145 million headline price paid by the buyer.

When Develica bought the property over two years ago from Singapore's Hong Leong Group, its NLA was reported to be about 86,500 psf. Develica was later reported to have refurbished the building for $2 million and increased net lettable area by 7 per cent by leasing to one tenant per floor. That would have boosted the property's NLA to about 92,500 sq ft. However, industry observers have been citing the building's NLA at between 88,200 and 89,000 sq ft recently.

1 Finlayson Green received its Temporary Occupation Permit in 1994.