Ascendas REIT's DSO National Laboratories Building. (Photo: Ascendas REIT)Ascendas REIT's DSO National Laboratories Building. (Photo: Ascendas REIT)

Ascendas REIT announced on 5 December that it is currently in the process of acquiring the DSO National Laboratories buildings, and the DNV GL Technology Centre from for SGD420 million (USD295 million).

The properties, which are located at 12, 14 & 16 Science Park Drive, will be acquired from Ascendas Land, an affiliated company of the Singapore-listed industrial REIT.

Two of the buildings to be acquired are currently leased to Singapore’s national defence research & development organisation, while the third building is leased to the Southeast Asian regional headquarters of DNV GL Singapore Pte Ltd.

The properties, which feature net lettable area of 78,871 square metres, have a weighted average lease expiry (WALE) of 16.5 years, and weighted average built-in rental escalations of between 2.2% to 2.5% per annum.

Upon acquisition, Ascendas REIT’s portfolio WALE is expected to improve from 3.7 years to 4.4 years.

“The long lease expiries and built-in rental escalations will also reinforce the stability and predictability to Ascendas REIT’s earnings”, said Chia Nam Toon, CEO of the REIT’s manager, in a statement on the proposed purchase.

“This acquisition will extend our market leadership in the overall business & science park space”, he added.

Upon induction of the new properties, Ascendas REIT will have a portfolio of 103 properties in Singapore, and 28 properties in Australia.

Units of Ascendas REIT finished the trading day about 0.4% higher from its previous close on the Singapore Exchange to end at SGD2.36.

By Ridzwan Rahmat

Ridzwan has been analysing REITs and business trusts since 2008, and personally manages a portfolio comprising mainly of SGX-listed REITs. He founded REITsWeek in 2013.