Sabana REIT's 9 Tai Seng Drive (Photo: REITsWeek)Sabana REIT's 9 Tai Seng Drive (Photo: REITsWeek)

Vibrant Group Limited announced in a voluntary filing with the Singapore Exchange on 10 April that it is indeed currently in discussions to acquire a further stake in the manager of Sabana REIT.

The clarification was issued against the backdrop of a report published on 8 April by The Edge Markets, citing an anonymous source, that Vibrant Group is acquiring a 45% stake in the embattled REIT manager.

“However, no binding arrangements have as yet been entered into with any party in respect of this transaction and, accordingly, there can be no assurance that this transaction will be concluded”, said Vibrant Group in the filing.

“The company remains committed to supporting the ongoing strategic review exercise of Sabana REIT”, it added.

Amid calls for a change in leadership, the management of Sabana REIT announced earlier this month that it will be holding an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on 28 April, where a number of ordinary resolutions, including one to remove the incumbent manager, will be tabled.

A group of Sabana REIT unitholders dissatisfied with its recent performance issued the Shari'ah compliant REIT with a requisition letter in February 2017, triggering the process that eventually led to this EGM.

In parallel to calls from unitholders to vacate office, Sabana REIT said in an EGM circular that it is making progress with a strategic review exercise, which is being held in part to address issues over its performance.

However no specific mention of the ongoing discussions with Vibrant Group was made in the circular.

This apparent omission has raised the consternation of certain unitholders, who have contacted REITsWeek to voice their concerns over the timing of the discussions ahead of the EGM, and wondered if there are further details that has yet to be disclosed.

Vibrant Group currently has a 51% stake in Sabana REIT’s manager, and a 12% stake in the REIT itself.

Units of Sabana REIT are currently listed on the Singapore Exchange at SGD0.505.

Read: Embattled Sabana REIT manager calls for EGM amid demands to step down

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.