ESR Cayman seeks to raise US$1.45bn in renewed Hong Kong IPO

Asia-Pacific’s largest logistics real estate platform ESR Cayman has returned to the Hong Kong market seeking to raise as much as HK$11.4bn (US$1.45bn).

The Warburg Pincus company which postponed its US$1.24bn Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO) in June, citing adverse market conditions, is offering 653.7m shares at between HK$16.20 and HK$17.40.

The original offer priced shares at HK$16.20 to HK$17.20 at the upper end, giving ESR a US$6.75bn market capitalisation.

The latest IPO has attracted the Canadian pension fund OMERS as a cornerstone investor, which has agreed to subscribe for about 9% of the ESR Group’s share capital, based on mid-point pricing.

ESR said the OMERS subscription would be worth HK$4.59bn in total.

ESR said the cornerstone placing was part of OMERS strategy to continue investing in a growing region that offered opportunities across asset classes in, which it [ESR] was active.

ESR hoped the cornerstone investment would be the start of a larger collaboration with OMERS and its affiliates.

According to today’s IPO documents, Warburg Pincus and Goldman Sachs are among at least seven existing ESR shareholders selling shares in the IPO.

ESR said 94.7% of the offer was for international placing and 5.3% for the Hong Kong public offer.

Dealing of shares is expected to commence on the stock exchange on 1 November.

ESR has been ramping up its property and logistics platform in the past three years through asset acquisitions and corporate takeovers in both Singapore and Australia.

Its key capital partners across its various platforms include Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Ping An Real Estate and Allianz Real Estate.

In its statement today, ESR said it was the largest APAC-focussed logistics real estate platform (by gross floor area (GFA) and by value of assets owned directly and by the funds and investment vehicles it manages) with operations in the PRC, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Australia and India.

As at the first half of the year, the GFA of projects owned and under development by ESR was over 15.3m sqm, and ESR’s assets under management had increased from US$7.4bn as of 31 December 2016 to US$20.2bn, it said.

During the period, the company managed 30 private third-party pooled investment vehicles and two real estate investment trusts listed on Singapore’s stock exchange.

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