CNA | Posted: 21 December 2012 1739 hrs

SINGAPORE

Singapore-listed Rowsley Ltd plans to acquire RSP Architects Planners & Engineers (RSP) and a site in Malaysia’s Iskander region for S$581 million.

In a filing to the Singapore Exchange, Rowsley, an investment holding company controlled by prominent businessman Peter Lim, said the proposed all-share deal will transform the company into a real estate player.

RSP will also be one of only two buildings, design and engineering practices that will be listed on the Singapore Exchange, when the deal is finalised.

Rowsley said it entered into a non-binding term sheet to acquire RSP for up to S$223 million, to be paid by the issue of Rowsley shares at S$0.15 per share.

Rowsley also signed a term sheet with Vantage Bay Sdn Bhd to acquire its 9.23 hectares of vacant land at Iskandar for S$358 million. Vantage Bay counts Peter Lim who holds a 70 per cent stake and a member of the Johor royal family, who holds the remaining 30 per cent stake, as its beneficial shareholders.

The land is located on a waterfront site just a few hundred metres away from Johor’s new customs, immigration and quarantine facility.

The firm said there are plans to develop the land into an integrated mixed-use township with a major shopping, entertainment and residential complex. The development will also include hotels, commercial and office developments. The proposed township is expected to yield a gross floor area of at least 10 million square feet.

Rowsley added that the proposed township will be boosted by an adjacent medical hub to be jointly developed by Vantage Bay and Thomson Medical which is also controlled by Mr Lim.

Chief executive officer of Vantage Bay, Ho Kiam Kheong, noted in a statement,” the proposed deal with Rowsley will allow the development to tap into the capital market of Singapore, building from the established platform, experience and reputable track record of RSP to transform the company into a serious real estate player.”

Chairman of RSP Architects Planners & Engineers, Albert Hong, said in a media statement, “through Rowsley, RSP will have a strong pipeline of design and engineering projects, further strengthening our regional practice which is already one of the biggest in Asia. If the deal goes through, RSP will continue to be run by its existing management. There will be little change operationally.”

If the deal goes through, Rowsley will reward existing shareholders with a free bonus issue of two warrants for every one existing share. Each warrant will have an exercise price of S$0.18 per share.

The proposed deal will be subject to Rowsley’s shareholders approval.

– CNA/ck