Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim gets rousing welcome in Valencia

Published on Oct 28, 2014
The Straits Times

By Wang Meng Meng

Last Saturday, billionaire investor Peter Lim received an extraordinary welcome from the fans of Spanish football club Valencia.

A YouTube video uploaded by the club shows the billionaire arriving at the Mestalla Stadium last Saturday night for the home game against Elche, which Valencia won 3-1.

Lim was in the Spanish port city to finalise his ownership of the club.

Earlier that day, it was confirmed that he had reached an agreement with Bankia - the Spanish bank that held most of the club's €200 million (S$323 million) debt - on the restructuring of the club's finances. That has paved the way for him to buy a 70 per cent stake in Valencia.

Stepping out of a luxury sedan, Lim was giving a warm handshake and hug by Valencia president Amadeo Salvo. Cameras zoomed in on the masses of fans, who chanted the Singaporean's name feverishly, as if they were welcoming a new star striker.

Accompanied by his wife, former actress Cherie, Lim posed for photographs and was later escorted to a balcony in the stadium, where he and Salvo waved at the delighted fans below.

The 61-year-old, estimated to be worth US$2.05 billion (S$2.6 billion) by Forbes Singapore, has bought Valencia for €420 million in total, with €200 million to clear the club's debts and £170 million to complete construction of a new stadium.

He has also splashed €45 million on two Benfica players - striker Rodrigo Moreno, 22, and midfielder Andre Gomes, 20.

Without a league title in 10 years and a trophy since the Copa del Rey and Spanish Super Cup in 2008, Valencia were crippled by debt until Lim started buyout talks a year ago.

Rejuvenated by the hope offered by the Singaporean, Valenncia have surged up to fourth in the 20-team La Liga on 20 points, two points behind leaders Barcelona.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Billionaire enters into partnership with five former players to own Salford City FC

Published: 4:02 AM, September 23,

LONDON — Billionaire Peter Lim has entered into a partnership with five former Manchester United players and taken a 50 per cent share in Salford City FC, which play in the eighth tier of the English league system.

This comes as Mr Lim, who is estimated by Forbes magazine to be worth around £1.5 billion (S$3.11 billion), stands poised to complete his purchase of a 50 per cent stake in Spain’s Valencia. The Singaporean was also linked with a move to buy Liverpool in 2010.

Former Manchester United players Gary and Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt have equal shares in the other 50 per cent of Salford City, which are top of their division. They took a stake this year with the goal of developing local talent and ultimately taking the club into the Football League.

In a statement, the five said Mr Lim’s experience would be invaluable as they continue with their unlikely quest to turn Salford, located on the outskirts of Manchester, into a football force. “When we set out upon this journey, we always knew that, at some point, we wanted external partners involved, people who would share our vision for Salford City. Peter’s love of sport, above all football, is well documented,” the statement said.

“He has an incredible track record in business as well as youth and community engagement, especially at grassroots level. Peter’s experience and knowledge can help take the club to where we believe they can be.”

The move is awaiting approval by the English Football Association, which should be a formality.

A spokesperson for Mr Lim told media outlets in the United Kingdom: “Peter met the lads a few months ago and they explained their plans and rationale for Salford City, the academy and the investment in grassroots football. What the lads want to accomplish resonated strongly with Peter, who shares (with them) a common belief in youth development through sports. Peter has a high regard for footballers’ talents and dedication to their sport.

“He is convinced that the legends’ sporting training has imbued them with values such as humility, discipline and the tenacity to succeed. He hopes these values can be cultivated in the young footballers who will come through Salford City’s programme.

“The management of the club on a day-to-day basis, as announced in March, will remain the same. This arrangement is important to all concerned.”

Salford’s chairperson Karen Baird said: “It’s been a great start to the season, we are very excited about the future for the club and what can be achieved.

“The most important aspect for us is that we continue to bond with our community and city, and we have assurances this will happen.”

Mr Lim is set to take over Valencia in the coming months and wipe the club’s estimated debt of €200 million (S$326 million), following protracted negotiations with Spanish bank Bankia, Valencia’s main creditor, that began in the middle of May. AGENCIES

Friday, August 8, 2014

M'sian billionaire Vincent Tan sells TMC shares to S'pore tycoon Peter Lim

Published: Friday August 8, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
The Star Online
by daniel khoo

PETALING JAYA: Singapore billionaire Peter Lim Eng Hock has acquired an additional 26.6% in TMC Life Sciences Bhd from Tan Sri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun for 48 sen per share, raising his stake in the company to 59.2% and triggering a general offer for the rest of the shares he does not already own in the process.

Lim, however, intends to maintain the healthcare provider’s listing status on Bursa Malaysia.
Shares in TMC were last traded at 46.5 sen yesterday.

TMC said in an announcement that its board would hold an emergency meeting to deliberate on the offer and make an announcement in due course.

The takeover offer was effected after Tan, TMC’s second-biggest shareholder, hived off his stakes held through Berjaya Corp Bhd (BCorp) (11.6%) and Berjaya Land Bhd (BLand) (15%) in TMC for RM102.6mil to Lim via Sasteria (M) Pte Ltd yesterday.

A block of 160.68 million shares in TMC crossed in an off-market trade yesterday at 48 sen per share in the last minutes of trading just before the market closed for the day.

Lim had 32.6% in TMC prior to yesterday’s transaction.

Under Bursa Malaysia’s listing requirements, Lim will have to extend his takeover offer to all minority shareholders in the company at 48 sen a share and eight sen per warrant.

It has been speculated that the acquisition could be a prelude to Lim eventually parking all his healthcare services assets in Malaysia under one vehicle.

It is also notable that this transaction with TMC by Lim is reminiscent of what had happened to the-then Singapore-listed Thomson Medical Centre Ltd, which was privatised by him in 2010 in a similar transaction.

Lim had then also triggered a mandatory conditional offer for Thomson Medical after its largest shareholder and founder, Dr Cheng Wei Chen, sold his entire effective 39.34% stake at S$1.75 (RM4.48) a share in a direct business transaction with Lim.

Lim is also said to be injecting his planned 200-bed hospital at Iskandar Malaysia’s medical hub into TMC eventually.

Lim’s keen interest in TMC was first traced back four years ago in 2010 when he emerged with a 29.6% stake after acquiring a stake from TMC’s founder Datuk Dr Colin Lee Soon Soo in direct business trades then.

He later further raised his stake in the company and by the middle of 2011, held 32.6% in TMC, a stake which he had held on to until before yesterday.

Meanwhile, BCorp said it would realise an estimated total gain of RM21.64mil from these disposals while BLand, which is also a subsidiary of BCorp, said it would net total gains of RM3.62mil from this share sale to Lim.

“Currently, the total carrying value of the sale shares is about RM41.99mil or 45 sen per sale share, which has been purchased since January 2008. The disposals have enabled the BCorp Group to realise its investment in TMC,” BCorp said in its announcement.

Both BCorp and BLand said they would utilise the proceeds for working capital and/or the repayment of borrowings for the company.

Post-transaction, Tan will still have a residual direct interest of 0.40% and a deemed interest of 1.37% in TMC other than through the BCorp Group.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Peter Lim donates S$3m to NTU for peace studies professorship

June 10, 2014

SINGAPORE — Fresh off his purchase of Spanish football club Valencia just weeks ago, Mr Peter Lim, a Singaporean billionaire, has donated S$3 million to the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) for a new professorship in peace studies.

SINGAPORE — Fresh off his purchase of Spanish football club Valencia just weeks ago, Mr Peter Lim, a Singaporean billionaire, has donated S$3 million to the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) for a new professorship in peace studies.

The university announced yesterday that the Peter Lim Professorship in Peace Studies will be based at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies.

NTU said the donation will help fund a top global expert who can lead the development of the school’s peace studies curriculum and research strategies as part of its new Studies in Inter-Religious Relations in Plural Societies (SRP) programme, launched on the same day. The Government will match the gift dollar-for-dollar, bringing the endowment to S$6 million in total.

Mr Lim was not present at the cheque presentation ceremony, which was witnessed by President Tony Tan, who is also the chancellor of the university.

An NTU statement quoted Mr Lim as saying that he hoped the endowment will bring Singapore peace and harmony. “We have enjoyed decades of peace because of the harmonious relations among Singapore’s different communities. But the world’s many conflicts remind us that we cannot take this peace for granted. I hope that my donation can bring together distinguished scholars and thought leaders to study how we can be one step closer to protecting and promoting the harmony in our country,” the businessman said. ~CHANNEL NEWSASIA

Sunday, May 18, 2014

5 things about Peter Lim and his new football club Valencia

Published on May 18, 2014
Straits Times

Billionaire Peter Lim is the new owner of Spanish side Valencia. Here are some facts about the media-shy Singaporean and the La Liga club.

Five things you should know about Peter Lim

1. In 1991, Mr Lim made his fortune when he invested US$10 million (S$12.51 million) in Wilmar International, then a start-up palm oil company owned by tycoon Kuok Khoon Hong, a former client and friend of Mr Lim’s – and the nephew of Malaysian businessman Robert Kuok (he now lives in Hong Kong), one of Asia’s best-known billionaires. Mr Lim’s five per cent stake in Wilmar was worth US$1.4 billion in March according to Forbes.

2. He put himself through the University of Western Australia, in Perth, by working as a taxi driver, cook and waiter, among other odd jobs, and graduated with a degree in finance and accounting.

3.Nicknamed the “remisier king", Mr Lim was ranked by Forbes to be the 10th richest man in Singapore last year with a fortune of US$2.05 billion.

4. Married to former actress Cherie Lim, Mr Lim is a Manchester United fan, owning several Manchester United themed bars across Asia. He tried to buy Liverpool for £300 million (S$631.20 billion) in 2010 but his offer was rejected.

5. Home to Valencia's new owner is the entire 11 storeys of the Abelia condominium, located near Orchard Road. Mr Lim is also said to own 25 Ferrari cars.

Five things you should know about Valencia football club

1. Up until Mr Lim acquired the club, Valencia was the only club outside the duo of Real Madrid and Barcelona to have won the Spanish La Liga since 2001. Former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez led Valencia to the league title in 2002 and 2004. However, Atletico Madrid on Saturday claimed its first La Liga title in 18 years by drawing 1-1 with title rivals Barcelona.

2. Due to the financial crisis, work on Valencia's new stadium – the 61,500 Nou Mestalla – stopped in 2009. The stadium has remained untouched since.

3. To stay afloat, the club had to sell key players like David Villa, David Silva, Jordi Alba, Roberto Soldado and Juan Mata - All Spanish internationals.

4.  Valencia have only spent four years outside of the top flight during their 92 history. Most recently they spent a year in the second division in the 1986-87 season.

5. They are the third most successful club in Spain, with six La Liga titles and seven Spanish Copa del Rey victories. No prizes guessing who the two most successful are.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Singapore businessman Peter Lim buys Valencia

Published on May 17, 2014

Fans of Valencian Football Club can finally see an end to months of uncertainty: Peter Lim

BARCELONA – Singapore businessman Peter Lim is the new owner of debt-ridden Valencia after buying 70.4 per cent of the shares owned by the club’s foundation, the La Liga side said today (May 17).

The Valencia Foundation’s patrons voted for Lim’s proposal ahead of other offers from international consortiums offering large cash injections.

Confirming that Lim has completed the takeover, a club spokesman said that the next task for the new owner will be to agree a deal with creditors Bankia, who are owed €220 million (S$377 million). The club’s total debt is around €360 million.

Lim said in a statement: “I am very glad to have been selected the winning bidder after a rigorous selection process.  Fans of Valencian Football Club can finally see an end to months of uncertainty."

Lim was the choice of club president Amadeo Salvador who felt that his offer was best suited to turning around the fortunes of the club which failed to qualify for next season’s Champions League and were knocked out of the Europa League earlier this month by eventual winners Sevilla in the semi-finals.

Said Lim: "Today’s voting which overwhelmingly supported my bid demonstrates a firm commitment from the stakeholders of the process, namely Bankia, Valencia CF, Foundation of Valencia CF and Instituto Valenciano de Finanzas.

“Under the process, the winner is the bidder with the best sporting, financial and social solutions. I’m pleased that we have won on these three criteria and I'll like to thank the Board of Trustees, the Valencian fans and the city for their strong support over the past few months."

Valencia are 10th in the 20-team La Liga standings. AGENCIES

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Peter Lim enters new Johor security venture

Published on Mar 15, 2014

Billionaire investor, Johor prince sign MOU to offer services in Iskandar

By Audrey Kang

SINGAPORE billionaire investor Peter Lim is stepping up his aggressive push into Iskandar Malaysia with a new agreement to set up a security business.

A security company owned by Mr Lim is joining hands with a Johor prince to offer security services in the rapidly emerging growth corridor.

Mr Lim is one of the largest investors in the Iskandar region over the past two years. He and the Johor royal family are substantial shareholders in Rowsley, which is working on a RM10 billion (S$3.9 billion) development in the Johor Baru city centre.

The Soverus Group, which is 95 per cent owned by Mr Lim, signed a memorandum of understanding with Tunku Abdul Rahman, son of the Sultan of Johor, yesterday. Its chief executive officer, Mr Paul Lim, said: "The security business in all countries is highly regulated. This MOU signifies and cements our belief in the growing market in Iskandar and the rest of Malaysia."

Working with the prince will be hugely beneficial, he added, given his detailed knowledge of the area.

Tunku Abdul Rahman said: "I am very impressed with how Soverus has grown so rapidly within the last four years, from a start-up to a major provider of security services with over 600 staff.

"I look forward to working with Soverus and its manage-ment team to build a credible and imitable full-service security firm in Johor."

One key reason for the MOU is the rising demand for premium security services in Iskandar, owing to the growing affluence of Johor residents, said Mr Paul Lim.

Although the company has yet to execute any plans for its expansion in Iskandar, he said potential clients are already seeking its security services.

Soverus previously focused on providing only guarding services, but has expanded into a wider range of solutions, including private investigations, cyber security and IT forensics.

Three-quarters of its operations in Iskandar will be guarding services, while the remaining 25 per cent will be focused on mostly security technology and security consultancy.

Mr Paul Lim said: "Our mid-term plan is to set up a sizeable infrastructure with proper armoury and full-fledged training facilities."

Officers from Singapore and Malaysia will be able to train with their counterparts in both countries, in order to provide quality guards, he added.


Friday, February 21, 2014

Rowsley reports Net Loss of $5 million

Rowsley reports Net Loss of $5 million before goodwill write-down
for RSP Acquisition

RSP meets full year profit target of $25 million

Rowsley’s Balance Sheet remains debt-free

Singapore, 21 February 2014 – Rowsley Ltd. today announced a net loss of $5
million for the nine months ended 31 December 2013, before the goodwill write-down
for the purchase of RSP Architects Planners & Engineers. Rowsley said RSP met its
profit target of $25 million for 2013.

Rowsley, which has transformed itself from an investment holding company into
an integrated multi-discipline real estate business, had acquired RSP in September
2013 for $187.5 million by issuing 1,250,000,000 shares at $0.15 each. The
purchase consideration was remeasured at closing date in accordance with financial
reporting standards to $422.5 million at $0.65 cents or $0.338 per share after
adjusting for the warrants issued. As a result, $221 million of goodwill had to be
written down. This is a non-cash accounting adjustment that does not affect the
company’s cash flows or the fundamentals of its business.

RSP, Singapore’s leading architectural firm, was one of two substantial
acquisitions completed last year; the other being a 9.23-hectare piece of land in
Johor Bahru’s Iskandar region to build an integrated wellness and lifestyle
development called Vantage Bay.

Rowsley said that its nine months’ results reflected the consolidation of RSP’s
4th quarter financials after it became a subsidiary. RSP, it added, has achieved profitafter-
tax of $25 million for the full year of 2013 and is on track to meet the targets set
by Rowsley under the terms of the acquisition.

On its Iskandar Region project, Rowsley said that although the Malaysian
government had recently introduced anti-speculative measures for properties, it was
confident that the Johor State Government and Iskandar Regional Development
Authority remained committed to the long-term economic development of the
Iskandar Region. The Johor State Government is in the process of clarifying how
and to what extent the measures will be implemented. Once clarified, Rowsley
expects the strong demand for properties in the Iskandar Region to once again drive
the interest in the Johor property market.

Chiang Chie Foo, Chairman of Rowsley, said: “We have created tremendous
value for shareholders with our two acquisitions and are confident that the demand
for our product in Iskandar will be strong. Being debt-free, we are unfazed by any
anti-speculative measures in the operating environment and are poised for further

Lock Wai Han, Rowsley’s Group CEO, added: “Our two acquisitions in 2013
were successfully carried out and we are already seeing the benefits of the synergy.
RSP’s expertise in architecture, urban-planning and engineering will maximise the
potential of the prime land which Vantage Bay sits on.

“We are optimistic that our development project in Vantage Bay will attract
genuine owners and investors.”

Rowsley remains debt-free and continues to look for further investment
opportunities in the region.