SINGAPORE (June 5): Real estate services provider APAC Realty, which owns ERA Realty Network, has entered into an agreement to acquire the entire 100% stake in HC Home from Hersing Corporation for $72.8 million.

HC Home, which owns a three-storey commercial property located at 450 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh, will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of APAC Realty following completion of the transaction.

The leasehold commercial property sits on a site area of approximately 1,392.4 sq m, with a gross floor area of 4,121.4 sq m. The property’s 99-year lease from the Housing and Development Board (HDB) commenced on Aug 1, 1970.

The first and second levels are currently leased to retail businesses, while the third level and the mezzanine are currently leased out as office space. There are also two auditoriums on the third level which are leased out.

Total lettable floor area is approximately 2,155.3 sq m, excluding the auditorium space of 441.34 sq m.

The purchase price is expected to be funded via a combination of internal funds and bank financing.

In a filing to SGX on Tuesday, APAC Realty says the property will serve as a permanent place of business for the group to provide enhanced facilities for ERA’s agency operations, including new office space for agents and improved training areas.

It will also cater for the expansion of the group’s real estate agency business, as well as generate rental income from leasing excess space not occupied by the group to third parties. The income generated is expected to offset the operating costs, including finance costs, of the property.

“With the new space, we are able to support the expansion of the group’s real estate agency business in Singapore as well as Asia Pacific. The new property will also serve as the headquarters of ERA Asia Pacific,” says Jack Chua, CEO of APAC Realty.

“We are excited to be able to hold our regional meetings and providing training to ERA agents from across the Asia-Pacific region, including Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia at the new offices,” he adds.

The group says it intends to carry out addition and alteration works to refurbish the space and to house comprehensive facilities, including two training theatres, which can host a total of 400 participants; a premium VIP Lounge for meeting and recruitment purposes; and increased office space for existing and newly recruited agents.

While Chua says the group will be rolling out strategic campaigns to recruit more agents, it remains committed to providing on-the-job training, professional development and market intelligence for its agents to ensure offer professional and quality services to their clients.

With this new space, regular training sessions can be conducted at the training theatres with superior capacity and in a centralised and convenient location, he adds.

As the proposed transaction constitutes a major transaction under SGX listing rules, it will be subject to approval from shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to be convened.

Shares of APAC Realty closed 3.5 cents higher, or up 3.9%, at 92.5 cents on Friday.