Friday, July 13, 2012

Proposed hospitality trust closer to IPO

Straits Times: Thu, Jul 12

THE proposed Far East Hospitality Trust is one step closer to its initial public offering (IPO).

At an extraordinary general meeting yesterday, Orchard Parade Holdings shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favour of injecting three hotels into the proposed hospitality trust.

They also approved the company's expansion into hospitality management and health- care real estate through the acquisition of the hospitality management business and selected health-care properties from Far East Organization through an asset swap transaction.

Orchard Parade Holdings is 58.87 per cent owned by Far East. It will be renamed Far East Orchard to better reflect its close alignment with Far East, and to leverage on the Far East brand.

The shareholders also approved a special dividend.

Orchard Parade non-executive chairman Philip Ng said: 'Orchard Parade Holdings can now take the first step towards its transformation as well as sponsor properties for the IPO of Far East Hospitality Trust.'

Mr Lucas Chow, the company's chief executive and managing director, said: 'This is the start of an exciting journey as we expand into hospitality management and health-care real estate. We will now also have the ability to explore new opportunities and develop new projects.'

The shareholder-approved transactions are now conditional upon the successful IPO and listing of the Far East Hospitality Trust. The proposed trust will lodge its prospectus and make the announcements at the appropriate time.

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