CapitaLand Limited, one of Asia’s largest diversified real estate groups, recently announced that it has agreed to sell The Star Vista, one of Singapore’s iconic shopping malls, for nearly $217 million to Rock Productions, the business arm of the 33,000-member New Creation Church led by charismatic televangelist Joseph Prince.
In a Nov. 20 press release, the company announced the sale of the seven-year-old mall to Rock Productions, which already owns The Star Performing Arts Centre that is co-located in the same development as the mall and is used for church services.
“The divestment of The Star Vista is in line with CapitaLand’s active and disciplined asset recycling strategy. Year to date, CapitaLand has divested close to S$5.7 billion worth of assets, exceeding our annual target divestment of S$3 billion. The proceeds from these divestments will enhance CapitaLand’s financial flexibility to seize new growth opportunities,” Jason Leow, president, Singapore & International, CapitaLand Group said in the release.
“Given that The Star Vista and The Star PAC are inextricably linked, our immediate objective … is both to protect the interest of the church and to preserve the good experience for all who come to The Star PAC,” Ram said.
According to the Straits Times, the non-denominational megachurch founded by Prince will also look into the possibility of having CapitaLand continue operating and managing the mall on its behalf.
The church, which was founded in 1983, also told the Straits Times that they will not hold a fundraising drive to pay for the mall as they already had the money on hand.
Prince, the church’s leader, has been connected to the prosperity gospel, but is presented on his website as “a leading voice in proclaiming the gospel of grace around the world through his books, teaching resources, and television ministry.”
“He has impacted church leaders worldwide by preaching the unadulterated gospel of Jesus with boldness. He is known for teaching God’s Word in a fresh, practical, and revelatory way that always unveils Jesus. His humorous, dynamic and engaging style of preaching has also endeared him to a wide spectrum of viewers who tune in to his daily television program. His broadcast currently reaches millions of homes across North America, Europe, Africa, Australia, and Israel on both secular and Christian networks,” his website says.
In 2016, the church announced that it fully paid $366 million for its 5,000-seat Star Performing Arts Centre, the Straits Times said.
When asked how they were able to fund such expensive real estate the church noted: "The funds come from the voluntary giving of our congregation to the church as well as to the building."
The members of the church are known for generous giving. The church made headlines in 2010 when they raised more than $15 million in one day in August.