Ezra chairman's villa in Sentosa Cove being sold

A PRIME waterway-facing bungalow in Cove Grove in Sentosa held by Ezra Holdings founder and chairman Lee Kian Soo is finally being sold, said sources.

The private treaty deal is understood to have been entered into last week. An agent from Edmund & Tie Co Property Network is understood to have been involved in the transaction but the firm declined to comment when contacted by The Business Times.

While details on pricing were not available, talk in the market is that as recently as two weeks ago, the owner was prepared to consider offers of around S$16 million or S$1,390 per square foot based on the land area of 11,515 sq ft.

Early last year, when the property was put on the market, the price tag was reported to be S$26 million or S$2,258 psf.

Since then the asking price has decreased steadily as Ezra's financial situation worsened.

Read also: Ezra's Lee family puts Sentosa Cove bungalow up for sale for $26 million

Good Class Bungalow sales in 2017

  • On Mar 3, The Business Times reported that property developer Sustained Land's boss, Douglas Ong, is buying a Good Class Bungalow (GCB) along Garlick Avenue in District 10.
  • The S$23.88 million price translates to S$858 per square foot (psf) based on the freehold land area of 27,829 sq ft. Market watchers consider the psf price to be on the low side.
  • On Feb 18, it was reported that a bungalow along Jalan Kampong Chantek off Dunearn Road is changing hands for S$27.59 million.
  • Perched on an upward-sloping site is an old vacant house with around 11,000 sq ft built-up area spanning two storeys and an attic level. It has a seven bedrooms and a swimming pool.
  • In January, the Chinese turned Singaporean co-founder of Shanda Group is understood to have picked up a Good Class Bungalow along Cable Road for S$23 million.

The mainboard-listed offshore and marine group filed for Chapter 11 protection under the US Bankruptcy Code last month. This was months after Ezra flagged going concerns issues in its full-year results released last November.

In its fourth quarter ended Aug 31, 2016, Ezra posted a massive net loss of US$339.6 million and saw its equity to controlling interest plunge to US$232.98 million against over US$1 billion of short-term debt on its books.

In early February, the group acknowledged that another US$170 million writedown may be on the table tied to its investment in its Emas Chiyoda Subsea business unit.

Ezra chief executive Lionel Lee, son of the chairman, previously used the Sentosa Cove bungalow but the property is now vacant.

Mr Lionel Lee and his family have other real estate holdings. These include a 24.98 per cent stake in Thailand's Raimon Land.

The Sentosa Cove bungalow that is being sold is on a site with 89.5 years' balance leasehold tenure. The villa, which has a private berth, spans two storeys, with a basement and an attic. It has five ensuite bedrooms, a swimming pool and an entertainment room.

Read also: Sentosa condo unit auctioned off at $6.6 million loss

Sentosa Cove property transactions in 2016

  • On Oct 9, it was reported that a seafronting bungalow along Cove Drive with views of the Southern Islands has been sold for just S$1,108 per square foot on land area. The absolute price is $9 million.
  • On Oct 5, a bungalow in a prime seafront location on Sentosa Cove has been sold for a near-record price of S$2,923 per square foot (psf) on land area. The absolute price works out to S$28 million for the property.
  • In August, it was reported that a bulk sale for the remaining 10 bungalows on Pearl Island has been entered into. The transaction, via a sale of shares in the company that developed the 19-villa project, values the balance 10 bungalows at S$120-130 million.
  • In a separate deal, an IT entrepreneur on the China rich list is understood to be the party who is picking up a bungalow along Cove Way. The price is S$16.5 million, or S$1,871 psf.
  • In April, an apartment on the third level of the plush Seven Palms Sentosa Cove has been sold by the developer for S$15.782 million - which works out to S$3,721 per square foot based on the strata area of 4,241 sq ft.
  • In March, the Lee family of Ezra Holdings put their waterway-fronting Sentosa Cove bungalow on the block, months after they sold a Good Class Bungalow (GCB) along Windsor Park Road last October for a cool S$22 million.
  • In the fourth quarter of 2015, a bungalow in Sentosa Cove fronting the Serapong Golf Course and overlooking the sea, has changed hands for S$23.8 million or S$2,775 per square foot (psf) on the land area of 8,576 square feet.

This article was first published on April 4, 2017.
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