KUALA LUMPUR (March 19): CapitaLand Commercial Trust, Singapore’s biggest office landlord, is among suitors pursuing a potential acquisition of the Duo office and retail development in the lion city, according to sources with knowledge of the matter.

Negotiations for the 39-storey Duo Tower, along with the linked Duo Galleria Mall, have already started with the real estate investment trust, quoted the source in Bloomberg today. The property could be valued at more than S$1.5 billion (RM4.53 billion), one of the sources divulged, seeking anonymity due to the confidentiality of the information.

Other parties are also eyeing the asset, located in Bugis, adjacent to Singapore’s central business district. The development’s owner is separately seeking a purchaser for its hotel portion, which could be worth up to S$500 million, added the source.

The project belongs to M+S Pte, a joint venture established in 2011 between Malaysian sovereign fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd and Singapore state investment firm Temasek Holdings Pte. No conclusive deal has been inked, and there’s no certainty a transaction will materialise.

Duo Tower has 568,000 sq ft of Grade-A office space. Major tenants include Abbott Laboratories Inc, Chevron Corp and Mastercard Inc. The linked 56,000 sq ft plaza houses retail shops and restaurants.

CapitaLand Commercial Trust “continually evaluates opportunities” that have a strategic fit with the REIT and can create value, said a representative for the manager of the REIT. Meanwhile, M+S’ representative did not want to comment.

The DUO project was officially opened in January 2018 by the prime ministers of the two neighbouring countries, and hailed as symbolic of their close relationship. It was designed by renowned German Ole Scheeren, who was also the architect behind Beijing’s CCTV headquarters building.

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