Blackstone has joined Lim Chap Huat, chairman of a Singapore family group Soilbuild Group Holdings, in a S$700m (€425m) bid to take private the listed Soilbuild Business Space REIT.
The offer comes from Clay Holdings III, a newly-incorporated entity formed for the purpose of the takeover by an entity owned by Blackstone and Lim, who is co-founder of the Soilbuild Group.
As of 14 December, Lim and his family collectively owned about 30.5% of the real estate firm.
Soilbuild REIT, which first listed on the Singapore stock exchange in 2013, said the bidders proposed to acquire all issued units in the trust at S$0.55 each by way of a trust scheme of arrangement.
Chong Kie Cheong, chairman of Soilbuild REIT’s manager, said: “After considering the uncertainty of a global recovery and the merits of the proposed trust scheme, we believe it represents a credible offer in the face of challenging market conditions. We would like to present it to unitholders for their consideration.”
In the offeror’s statement on Monday, Lim said: “Given the various challenges and constraints faced by Soilbuild REIT, the group has considered many options and discussed potential transactions, including a privatisation, with parties comprising private equity firms, real estate funds and real estate developers across Hong Kong/China, Australia and the United States over the past few years. We believe this proposal by Blackstone presents the best option for minority unitholders. It represents the highest price offered.”
The offer translates to a 34.5% premium over the volume-weighted average price of Soilbuild shares traded over the past month, and a 29.1% premium over shares traded over the plast year.
Soilbuild REIT said it would dispose to Blackstone its entire issued and paid-up units in a subsidiary company, Soilbuild Trust Australia, which owns three properties in Australia, for A$232m.
The Australian assets include an office building at 14 Mort Street in Canberra, a poultry production and processing facility known as Inghams Burton in Adelaide, and a freehold office building at 25 Grenfell Street in Adelaide.
In Singapore, Soilbuild REIT owns 10 business parks and industrial properties, leased to Dyson Operations, Nestle Singapore and John Wiley & Sons, among others.