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Singapore Paincare subsidiary to rent Mount Elizabeth Novena premises at new rate of $21,200 per month

Felicia Tan
Felicia Tan • 4 min read
Singapore Paincare subsidiary to rent Mount Elizabeth Novena premises at new rate of $21,200 per month
Dr Bernard Lee is the executive director and CEO of Singapore Paincare. He is also the owner of Medbridge. Photo: Albert Chua/The Edge Singapore
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Singapore Paincare Holdings’ subsidiary, Novena Paincare Center (NPC), has agreed to rent the premises at #07-33 Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre from Medbridge at a monthly rate of $21,200 per month. The update came via a Feb 14 filing.

The new sum comes after Singapore Paincare’s board engaged an independent property valuer, who issued a valuation report dated Feb 8, valuing the monthly market rent to be at $21,200 or $27.35 per sq ft for 750 sq ft as at Aug 1, 2023, says the company.

The tenancy agreement between NPC and Medbridge is for 18 months from Aug 1, 2023, to Jan 31, 2025. The agreement also has an option to renew for a further term of one year from the date of expiry.

Medbridge is 100% owned by Dr Bernard Lee, the executive director and CEO of Singapore Paincare.

Singapore Paincare first received a letter of demand (LOD) from Medbridge on Jan 11 claiming that NPC and Medbridge failed to agree on a rental rate for five months since Aug 1, 2023. It was alleged that NPC was given notice from Jan 8 that the tenancy agreement will expire with immediate effect on Jan 14 and it should vacate the premises by Jan 15.

That same letter proposed that NPC extend its stay on the premise till Jan 25 but for $24,750 a month, or $33 per sq ft, based on the market rate. The LOD also demanded payment from NPC to pay the sum of $78,750 within seven days, which is the difference between the previous monthly rent of $9,000 and the proposed increased rental rate of $24,750 for the period between August 2023 and December 2023.

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On Jan 27, Singapore Paincare announced that it had requested for more time to respond to Medbridge’s requests in its LOD. The company had asked to respond to the requests two weeks after its extraordinary general meeting (EGM).

The company also responded to the LOD on Jan 18 indicating that it was considering appointing a new property valuer and, or an independent financial adviser to resolve the impasse. It also asked Medbridge to provide all documents to show that the existing market rate is the same as the increased rate that it demanded in its LOD.

Medbridge responded on Jan 23 enclosing extracted Whatsapp conversations to support its assertion of its proposed new rental rate. Medbridge also requested to know “precisely when” the EGM will be held and when Singapore Paincare will be able to respond to the LOD.

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On Jan 25, Singapore Paincare requested for other authoritative documents to justify the increased rental rate from Medbridge among other points.

In its Feb 14 update, Singapore Paincare revealed that Medbridge responded on Jan 31 saying that it “does not have, nor is it obliged to provide” any other authoritative documents to justify the proposed increased rental rate. In addition, Medbridge requested for a copy of the valuation report from Singapore Paincare once it was ready.

Medbridge, in its Jan 31 letter, agreed for NPC to respond to its demands by April 15 based on the understanding that the additional rent payable by NPC from August 2023 to April 15, 2024, will be based on the difference between its previous rate and the rate indicated in the valuation report.

Medbridge added that it will reserve its right to review the position that may require NPC to vacate the premise depending on the outcome of its response in April and that it did not agree to be bound by the findings of the valuation report that will be provided by Singapore Paincare.

On Feb 8, a valuation report was provided by Singapore Paincare valuing the monthly market rent for the premise at $21,200, lower than the original amount demanded by Medbridge.

“The board notes that in the announcement dated Jan 17, it was disclosed that a separate property valuer was previously commissioned to conduct a valuation of the market rental value of the premise,” says Singapore Paincare in its Feb 14 update.

“The board wishes to clarify that the previous valuer encountered a paucity of information regarding recent lease transactions of comparable properties and was thus unable to provide a fair valuation,” it adds.

After sending Medbridge a copy of the valuation report on Feb 9, Medbridge confirmed that it was agreeable to the new terms proposed.

As at 9.26am, shares in Singapore Paincare are trading flat at 16 cents.

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