SINGAPORE (Mar 19): Subsidiaries of GuocoLand and the Hong Leong Group have submitted the winning bid of $980 mil to acquire Pacific Mansion.

The price is the highest in the present en bloc cycle, and only surpassed by the $1.3 billion sale of Farrer Court, according to CBRE, which brokered the transaction.

GuocoLand (Singapore), Intrepid and Hong Realty will hold stakes of 40%, 40% and 20% respectively in the prime District 9 property which can be redeveloped into a luxury condominium.

GuocoLand (Singapore) is a subsidiary of GuocoLand while Intrepid and Hong Realty are subsidiaries of Hong Leong Investment Holdings which is also a deemed substantial shareholder of GuocoLand.

Located at River Valley Close, the 128,352 sf property has a plot ratio of 3.84 and is within walking distance to the Great World MRT station that is currently under construction as well as GuocoLand’s Martin Modern project.

The price for the 290-unit development works out to $1,987 psf, based on the amount of space the the buyer is able to rebuild.

The deal shows demand from developers for older residential sites remain firm even as Singapore increased the buyer’s tax on homes exceeding $1 million last month, says Bloomberg.

In the first two months of 2018, en bloc apartment sales for redevelopment totalled more than $3.1 billion. This is almost double the $1.66 billion seen in same period during the last en bloc market peak in 2007, Nomura analyst Min Chow Sai wrote in a note dated Feb 19.

Following the win, the three JV partners have also entered into a memorandum of general agreement to redevelop the property.

GuocoLand says its audit and risk committee, having reviewed the transaction which is an interested person transaction, is of the view that the risks and rewards of the joint venture based on the terms of the agreement are fair and reasonable and are not prejudicial to the interests of GuocoLand and its minority shareholders.

Quek Leng Chan, the Malaysian tycoon, controls GuocoLand (Singapore) through his holding company, Hong Leong Co. Malaysia Bhd while Intrepid and Hong Realty are partly owned by Quek and his Singapore cousin, billionaire Kwek Leng Beng.

Shares in GuocoLand are up 2 cents at $2.10.