Blackstone has offered to buy a listed owner of retail assets in Asia-Pacific, valuing the Singapore-based Croesus Retail Trust at SGD901m (€572m).
Blackstone has agreed to pay SGD1.17 per unit for all of the company’s issued units and intends to privatise it through a scheme of arrangement to be approved by unitholders.
In 2013, Croesus Trust Retail became the first Asia-Pacific retail business trust with assets in Japan to be floated on the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX).
The trust owns a diversified portfolio located predominantly in Japan and has strategic relationships with large Japanese groups Marubeni and Daiwa House.
Market sources told IPE Real Estate that several Singapore real estate investment trusts, including Croesus, have been trading at discounts to their net asset value, and have consequently attracted interest from investors keen to acquire sizeable portfolios in Asia-Pacific.
The offer, announced to the SGX on Wednesday, confirmed market speculation of a potential takeover of the trust. Since speculation surfaced in April this year, the Croesus unit price has risen 25%.
Unitholders of Croesus will be paid a distribution income of up to SGD31.1m, subject to the deal closing by the end of October.
A simple majority of more than 50% of unitholders, representing at least 75% in value of the units held by unitholders present and voting at the scheme meeting, is needed to approve the scheme.
In a joint statement to the Singapore Stock Exchange, Croesus and Blackstone said the scheme represents an opportunity for unitholders to realise their investment at an attractive valuation.
It said unitholders will receive significant premiums to the historical trading price of the units, the net asset value per unit and the net tangible asset per unit.
CRT and Blackstone said the offer carries a premium of about 38% to the 12-month volume-weighted average price per unit, and that the offer price exceeds the highest closing price of the units since the initial public offering in May 2013.
The trust has almost 770m units on issue, and, at the end of March 2017 the net asset value of the units was SGD0.95.
At the end of March, the company reported an occupancy rate of 97.7% and a weighted average lease expiry of 6.5 years.
Croesus has doubled its portfolio in Japan to 11 retail assets from just four when it listed in 2013. Its market cap has doubled to SGD759.9m since then.