Singapore's Jurong Port completes purchase of Lim family's stake in Universal Terminal


SINGAPORE, March 20 (Reuters): Singapore port operator Jurong Port has completed its acquisition of a stake in a major oil storage terminal in the city-state from the family behind collapsed oil trader Hin Leong Trading Pte Ltd, a port spokesman said on Saturday.

The spokesman said government-owned Jurong Port had completed the purchase of a 41% stake in Universal Terminal from the Lim family. He declined to give details on the transaction.

A lawyer for the family did not immediately respond to a Reuters email seeking comment.

The deal marks the sale of the crown jewel among oil and shipping assets owned by oil tycoon Lim Oon Kuin, his son Evan Lim Chee Meng and daughter Lim Huey Ching.

It comes nearly a year after Hin Leong, once Asia's largest oil trader, racked up some $4 billion in debt and entered court restructuring.

Earlier this month, Singapore's High Court approved the winding up of Hin Leong.

Reuters reported in February that Jurong Port was set to take over the Lim family's shares in Universal Terminal. The family managed and owned the stake through Universal Group Holdings.

A previous sale of a stake in the terminal in 2016 valued the whole terminal at more than $1.5 billion, industry sources said at the time.

PetroChina International (Singapore) owns 25% of the terminal while MAIF Investments Singapore, a unit of Australian investment bank Macquarie Group, holds the remaining 34%.

The terminal, with 2.33 million cubic metres of oil storage capacity and deepwater berthing facilities that allows two supertankers to dock at the same time, is regarded as a most prized asset invested in by the Lim family.

Jurong Port, a fully owned subsidiary of Singapore's industrial property developer and planner JTC Corp, entered the oil storage business in 2019 in a tie-up with independent storage operator Oiltanking. - Reuters
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