Sabana REIT: Internalization pains. | A Singaporean Stocks Investor (ASSI)


When Sabana REIT’s unit holders voted for the internalization of the REIT’s manager, some readers asked me what I thought of it.

For the record, I didn’t vote for the internalization.


I sat on the fence.

From past experience with Croesus Retail Trust, I guessed that internalizing the manager would be a costly exercise.

I said as much here in reply to readers’ comments.


However, if successfully executed, it would result in significant cost savings and greater alignment of interests.

The exercise was smooth sailing in the case of Croesus Retail Trust although it was pretty costly.

That was partially because the REIT’s sponsor suggested the internalization themselves.


It was not a demand made by activist investors.

It was suggested partly to unlock value and to address the persistent underperformance of the Trust’s unit price.

Later on, Croesus Retail Trust was sold to an institutional investor at a premium to valuation.

I had mixed feelings about the sale.

I lost a reliable passive income generator but I did enjoy an attractive return.

Whether the internalization of the manager played a part or not in the sale of Croesus Retail Trust to the institutional investor is anyone’s guess.

Anyway, looking at Sabana REIT, from what has transpired so far and at the recent EGM, it is obvious to me that we are not seeing another Croesus Retail Trust here.

To me, the entire process in Sabana REIT’s instance seems to be far more challenging.

It is going to take way longer and cost way more than expected.

Regular readers know that I increased my investment in Sabana REIT significantly in late 2020 and early 2021 after the lowball offer to buy the REIT was rejected.

Sabana REIT was and still is pretty undervalued.

However, I don’t like investing in businesses which keep me guessing.

Peace of mind is priceless.

My investment in Sabana REIT has paid me attractive dividends in the last few years.

However, with so much uncertainty now, I have decided to reduce my investment in the REIT significantly while I am still in the money.

Taking back my capital, I will have a stronger war chest to take advantage of other investment opportunities.

So, with this decision, Sabana REIT is no longer one of my largest investments.

I still retain a legacy position from donkey years ago which is free of cost.

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