Singapore-listed hospitality trust Ascott Residence Trust (ART) has entered into two conditional agreements to sell serviced residences, Ascott Guangzhou in China and Citadines Didot Montparnasse Paris in France, to two unrelated third parties respectively, for a total of about S$191.4 million.
ART is expected to realise total estimated net gains of about S$23.2 million upon the completion of both transactions.
For Ascott Guangzhou in China, the divestment price of RMB 780 million (S$155 million) is about 52% above the property’s book value and about 81.0% higher than the acquisition price in 2012. Located in the city’s financial hub of Tianhe, the 207-unit luxury serviced residence is surrounded by high-end office towers, multiple retail and dining options.
Ascott Guangzhou has been operational for 12 years. ART acquired Ascott Guangzhou from The Ascott Limited for RMB 431 million in 2012.ART is expected to realise estimated net gains of about S$19.4 million upon the completion of the transaction in 1Q 2021.
For Citadines Didot Montparnasse Paris in France, the divestment price of EUR 23.6 million (S$36.4 million) is about 69% above the property’s book value and about 60.4% higher than the acquisition price in 2010. Citadines Didot Montparnasse Paris was one of the 28 properties ART acquired from The Ascott Limited for a total sum of S$1.39 billion in 2010.
Citadines Didot Montparnasse Paris is located in the 14th arrondissement of France’s capital city. ART is expected to realise estimated net gains of about S$3.8 million upon completion of the transaction in 4Q 2020.
Beh Siew Kim, Chief Executive Officer of the Managers of ART, said: “Despite the COVID19 situation, the opportunistic sale of Ascott Guangzhou and Citadines Didot Montparnasse Paris at an attractive price allows ART to rejuvenate its portfolio and unlock the strong underlying value of these properties. We will look out for opportunities to deploy the proceeds to other higher yielding assets for ART. The proceeds may also be used to pare down ART’s debt and reduce its gearing, as distribution to stapled securityholders, or for general corporate purposes.”
Beh added: “In 2019, in line with ART’s strategy to continuously enhance the portfolio, we have unlocked more than S$200 million in net gains and added approximately S$1.9 billion in asset value through the acquisition of quality assets. During these uncertain times, we will continue to be prudent in managing our capital and cash flow, as well as ensure that ART remains resilient with its geographically diversified portfolio focused on the long-stay segment.”