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TEE Land chairman Lee buys shares amid 'strategic review'

Chan Chao Peh
Chan Chao Peh • 3 min read
TEE Land chairman Lee buys shares amid 'strategic review'
SINGAPORE (Jan 21): TEE Land chairman Lee Bee Wah has bought 108,000 shares from the market a month after the boutique developer’s parent company TEE International announced a “strategic review” of the company.
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SINGAPORE (Jan 21): TEE Land chairman Lee Bee Wah has bought 108,000 shares from the market a month after the boutique developer’s parent company TEE International announced a “strategic review” of the company.

On Jan 14, Lee paid $18,628 for the shares, which brought her total holdings to just below two million shares, or 0.45% of the company, from 0.42% previously.

TEE International, which is in the engineering and infrastructure business, is the controlling shareholder of TEE Land. According to TEE Land’s annual report, as at Aug 31, 2018, TEE International held a direct stake of 52.09% and a deemed stake of 11.19% in the company.

As at Aug 31, TEE Land had a net asset value of 33.1 cents a share, down marginally from 33.9 cents a share as at May 31, the company’s financial year-end.

Lee’s purchase works out to an average of 17.25 cents, which is nearly half TEE Land’s book value. TEE Land shares closed at 16.2 cents on Jan 16, 2019, which implies a market value of $72.4 million.

Year to date, TEE Land’s share price has dropped 1.82%. It has been on a steady decline since its IPO in 2013 at 54 cents each.

On Dec 17, 2018, TEE International announced it was undertaking a “strategic review” of TEE Land, “to evaluate opportunities and positioning, with a view to maximise potential value for stakeholders”.

In an update announcement on Jan 14, 2019, TEE International said the review was still in progress. Since then, however, it has been “approached by various interested parties with different proposals for TEE Land’s business and assets”. Besides property development, TEE Land holds stakes in workers’ quarters in Christchurch and a hotel in Sydney.

“While the company has engaged in preliminary discussions with these interested parties, it is still in the process of reviewing the proposals,” says TEE Land.

It is not the only developer that has been given the cold shoulder by the stock market, as the property cooling measures introduced by the government are starting to bite.

On June 28, 2018, TEE Land announced it had signed an option to buy a freehold development for $60 million. The development at 338 to 364 Upper East Coast Road has a total area of 3,928.8 sq m.

The most recent — and unexpected — round of cooling measures was announced on July 5 and took effect the following day. On July 26, TEE Land announced it had chosen to forfeit the 1% deposit paid, foregoing $600,000 instead of being saddled with a project that might be difficult to sell in the current climate.

TEE Land completed the acquisition of two other freehold plots last year, which it announced on Feb 27. The 3,527.7 sq m plot at 35 Gilstead Road, which was bought via a joint venture in which TEE Land owns 60%, cost $72 million — the company’s largest land purchase ever. It plans to build 70 units on this plot and complete the development by December 2021.

On Jan 26, 2018, the company announced the completion of the purchase of a plot of land at Seraya Crescent for $25.74 million. It plans to build 48 units on the 2,236.1 sq m plot, and is aiming for completion by September 2020.

For 2QFY2018 ended Nov 30, TEE Land reported earnings of $65,000, reversing losses of $6.7 million incurred in the year-earlier quarter, caused by a one-off impairment of nearly $6.2 million that the company took for an associate company. Revenue was $21.4 million, up 2.5% y-o-y.

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