UPDATE 1-Singapore's Temasek, JTC in talks to merge 4 real estate companies

Thu Sep 4, 2014 9:45am EDT

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(Adds details on subsidiaries and executive comment)

SINGAPORE, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings and state firm JTC Corp are in talks to merge four of their real estate and urban planning subsidiaries, aimed at creating a larger group that could expand in Asian cities.

Under the proposed merger, JTC's Ascendas Pte and JURONG International Holdings Pte Ltd (JIH) will combine with Temasek's Surbana International Consultants Holdings and Singbridge Group, the two companies said in a statement.

JTC, Singapore's state-owned industrial property developer and planner, and Temasek will be in exclusive discussions on the specific terms of the merger, the statement said.

The potential tie-up would create a giant urban planning and property company, which Singapore will use to capitalise on the city-state's reputation for efficiency and sustained economic growth.

"The enlarged group, with its complementary synergies and significant scale, will be well-positioned to provide end-to-end solutions for urbanisation needs in Asia and other markets," the statement said.

The two companies did not state the potential size of the deal but added that Ascendas, which runs a number of business and industrial parks across Asia, has S$15.1 billion ($12.06 billion) of assets under management. Ascendas also has three listed trusts.

JIH advises cities on the development of their industrial areas, while Singbridge has helped develop a number of industrial parks and eco-cities in China.

Surbana advises on town planning and development in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

"The merged group will have the scale, capabilities and resources to participate in the entire urbanisation value chain, deepen its presence in existing markets and develop new ones," said Png Cheong Boon, CEO of JTC.

Temasek also owns a 39 percent stake in CapitaLand , Southeast Asia's biggest property developer, as well as a 100 percent stake in Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd.

(1 US dollar = 1.2516 Singapore dollars) (Reporting by Saeed Azhar, Rachel Armstrong and Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Michael Urquhart and Mark Potter)

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