Temasek, JTC to merge 4 units into mega-entity

Temasek Holdings. TODAY file photo
TODAY File Photo
Merger to provide more scale, capacity to take on region’s major urban projects, say firms
Published: 4:04 AM, September 5, 2014
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SINGAPORE — As urbanisation picks up pace across China, India and South-east Asia, investment giant Temasek Holdings and industrial developer JTC Corp are planning a merger of four of their operating subsidiaries into a single mega-entity, in an unprecedented move that will tap the opportunities resulting from this rapid development.

The two government-owned companies said advisers and consultants have been engaged to provide a fair market valuation of the four units: Temasek’s urbanisation consulting company Surbana International Consultants Holdings, and its Singbridge Group, which specialises in urban solutions, particularly in China, as well as JTC’s business space solutions provider Ascendas and its Jurong International Holdings (JIH), which offers expertise for the built environment.

In a joint statement last night, Temasek and JTC said the merger would provide more scale and increased capacity to take on Asia and other markets.

Mr Dilhan Pillay Sandrasegara, head of enterprise development group at Temasek, said: “Temasek sees growing opportunities in the sustainable urban development sector. Apart from the trends we see with increasing urbanisation in growth markets, we see also an emerging and keen interest in building sustainable cities, both inside and outside Asia.”

Mr Png Cheong Boon, chief executive of JTC, said: “The merged group will have the scale, capabilities and resources to participate in the entire urbanisation value chain, deepen its presence in existing markets and develop new ones.”

Said a JTC spokesperson: “Each of the four entities brings unique strengths and complementary capabilities to form an integrated platform that is able to provide the full suite of end-to-end urban solutions to meet urbanisation needs in Asia and elsewhere.”

Ascendas, which manages more than S$15 billion in assets, has projects in China and India — the world’s two most populous countries — as well as in South Korea and Vietnam, while JIH has completed more than 1,700 projects in 47 countries.

SingBridge has completed integrated cities and sustainable urban solutions particularly in China, such as the Guangzhou Knowledge City, and the Chengdu Hi-tech Innovation Park, while Surbana has managed projects in Africa and the Middle East.

Analysts said the pooling of resources is needed so the merged entity can be a major player in cities many times the size of Singapore.

Ms Annie Koh, associate professor of finance at the Singapore Management University, said: “In China, the average size of cities is about five million and there are close to 100 of such cities. The top 20 cities in China (each have) a population of about 10 to 20 million. So if you don’t have the size, you clearly can’t take on the projects.”

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