Billionaire Riady family-backed OUE in race for Singapore United Engineers stake

OUE Ltd., backed by the billionaire Riady family, plans to pursue a stake in Singapore property and construction firm United Engineers Ltd., a person with knowledge of the matter said.

Singapore-listed OUE is interested in bidding for shares held by Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. and its affiliates, said the person, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. The formal sale process hasn’t started yet and other parties could also express interest, another person familiar with the matter said.

OCBC and its insurance arm Great Eastern Holdings Ltd. said last month they were reviewing options for their combined stakes in United Engineers. OCBC, Great Eastern and the bank’s founding Lee family were working with an adviser to gauge interest in the company, people familiar with the matter said at the time.

A spokesman for OUE declined to comment.

The Singapore firms and the Lee family own more than 30 percent of United Engineers, the people said last month. Under Singapore rules, buying such a stake would trigger a mandatory takeover offer for United Engineers, which has a $1.2 billion market value. Exclusive talks between OCBC and Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, Thailand’s richest person, lapsed last year.

OUE, a property developer, has assets across Asia and the United States. The real estate company is the sponsor of OUE Hospitality Trust, a hotel REIT, and OUE Commercial Real Estate Investment Trust, an office landlord.

United Engineers has been selling non-core businesses and assets in recent years, including stakes in property management companies in China, an Indonesian steel fabrication firm and a Singapore wireless broadband provider last year. It said in February it was selling a U.S. subsidiary Multi-Fineline Electronix Inc.

Bloomberg

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.