First REIT's property in Singapore, Pacific Healthcare nursing home in Bukit Merah (Photo: REITsWeek)

First REIT has come forward to explain why it has decided against taking the legal route with regards to the master lease agreements with Lippo Karawaci, comparing the potential process as being with “sharks in the sea with blood”.

The explanation was put forward by Adrian Chan, lead independent director of First REIT’s manager, during a dialogue session with unitholders on 7 January.

Chan was asked why First REIT has decided to restructure its distressed leases with Lippo Karawaci, instead of legally enforcing the current master lease agreements.

He was also asked if the move was done in the interest of unitholders, or more to the benefit of Lippo Karawaci, which is one of the REIT’s sponsors.

First REIT announced in November 2020 that it would be restructuring the master lease agreements with Lippo Karawaci, which is currently facing financial distress.

Related: First REIT signs agreement to restructure rents with master lessees

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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.