Singapore: Serial Systems Acquisition; Viant Commodities JV; Vibrant Group Sabana REIT Enlargement

April 9, 2017

Serial Systems is acquiring a majority stake in Print IQ, VIant Commodities has launched a Swiss JV and VIbrant Group is enlarging its stake in Sabana REIT’s manager. Serial Systems acquires 70% of Print IQ Serial Systems is acquiring a 70 per cent stake in Singapore-incorporated Print IQ in an effort to grow additional income streams, with a view to enhancing long-term shareholder value. The seller is Ong Chin Teng.  The privately-owned firm is principally engaged in the business of providing managed print services, and the administration, maintenance and distribution of copiers and printers. It has an issued and paid-up capital of S$200,000. 

The purchase consideration for this equity stake is S$331,000 and will be funded by internal funds and/or bank borrowings. Goh Su Teng, a director of Serial System International, and Phillip Foster Warren, VP of Serial Microelectronics, another subsidiary of the group, are also acquiring 5 per cent each of Print IQ from Ong, paying S$21,000 each for their respective interest. Viant Commodities launches JV with MKE in Switzerland Singapore’s Viant Commodities has launched a Swiss joint venture (JV) with European copper products maker KME. The JV firm is called Tekvalia AG and willfocus on trading and distribution of copper products and services through the supply chain in Europe. In an interaction with Reuters, Viant Commodities Managing Director Rene van der Kam explained: “Viant in Singapore is very well capitalised, and it is enjoying very strong support from its banks, and we will leverage that to our European entities. 

Tekvalia is not a sourcer to, or off-taker from KME. If that happens at all, it will be at arms’ length. This is really to facilitate third-party business.” Tekvalia AG will be owned 51 per cent by Viant and 49 per cent by KME. Viant will retain its own Viant Commodities AG entity, launched in March, run by Vadim Linchevsky. Viant Commodities was launched in June 2016 as a trading house with offices in Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai and maintains 15 staff. It will offer structuring and some financing along the value chain including for scrap, semi-refined and finished products. Vibrant Group to enlarge stake in Sabana REIT’s manager Vibrant Group is acquiring a further 45 per cent stake in the manager of Sabana Shari’ah Compliant Industrial Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). The transaction is expected to be completed before 28 April 2017. Vibrant also owns 51 per cent of the REIT manager and controls 12 per cent of Sabana REIT’s units. The acquisition of an enlarged stake by Vibrant of Sabana REIT’s manager – during an ongoing strategic review-  will strengthen its negotiating position in the event of an acquisition. This is the day of an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) scheduled for unitholders to vote on resolutions that include removing the REIT’s manager and follows distress over declining distributions per unit that the REIT has been distributing over the last three years. Meanwhile, fees paid to the REIT manager remain stable. 

Through a discounted rights issue last year, it tapped unitholders for cash. Moreover, it has proposed future acquisitions which are not forecast to be yield accretive. The embattled REIT is expected to face further troubles, with dissident shareholders holding 0.6 pe rcent of its outstanding units expected to face significant difficulty in changing the manager. Substantial unitholders of Sabana REIT are E-Shang Redwood (ESR), a unit of private equity (PE) major Warburg Pincus, with a 5.01 per cent stake. ESR recently aacquired an 80 per cent stake in Cambridge Industrial Trust’s manager and 12 per cent of the REIT. Chinese property tycoon Tong Jinquan holds a 16 per cent stake in Cambridge Industrial Trust and 6.19 per cent of Sabana REIT.