Creative deal strategy unlocks access to iconic office and retail asset.
Nestled within Singapore’s Bugis district, the DUO complex, including DUO Tower and DUO Galleria, comprises 557,972 square feet of Grade A office space and 59,873 square feet of retail space.
The mixed-use development, designed by renowned German architect Ole Scheeren, was completed in 2017.
Finding the right buyer in a highly competitive market
Formerly owned by M+S, a joint venture between Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional and Singapore’s state-owned investment company Temasek Holdings, the complex was listed for sale.
Interest in the city-state’s prime office assets has been on the rise, with strong growth seen in Singapore office capital values and rents, largely thanks to the positive investment sentiment supported by the favourable demand-supply dynamics.
With opportunities to own prized office assets becoming limited, investors have turned to creative strategies like joint ventures or partial stakes to access larger and more valuable real estate assets with reduced risk.
Recognising the growing appetite for such deals, M+S approached JLL to be the sole representative for the transaction. With JLL's access to diverse capital sources and expertise in structuring complex deals, the partnership proved to be a winning combination.
Shaping the right deal
Leveraging industry-leading property insight and integrated research, JLL took the asset to market, mainly targeting a handful of potential international investors.
Following rounds of consultation and negotiation, JLL crafted a deal with the best terms and structure that aligned with the shared investment objectives of two long-term partners, Munich-based Allianz Real Estate GmbH* and Hong Kong private equity real estate investor, Gaw Capital.
The complex was eventually sold to the joint venture for S$1.6 billion (US$1.2 billion), or S$2,590 per square foot for the combined complex, which will see the office space command rents on par with Singapore’s prime Marina Bay submarket.
The final sale price of the coveted asset is testament to the confidence investors have in Singapore’s thriving commercial real estate market.
*now PIMCO Prime Real Estate