Singapore-listed Frasers Centrepoint Trust (FCT) is proposing to buy the remaining 63.1% in AsiaRetail Fund (ART) it does not already own from its sponsor, Frasers Property, for about S$1.06bn (€655m).

AsiaRetail Fund, one of Asia’s oldest shopping centre funds, was set up by PGIM Real Estate more than a decade ago.

Last year, PGIM Real Estate began divesting its interest in the vehicle to companies associated with the Frasers group, finally exiting the investment in July 2020.

AsiaRetail Fund owns suburban shopping malls in a number of densely-populated housing estates in Singapore.

Richard Ng, CEO of Frasers Centrepoint Asset Management, described the transaction as a “follow-through of our strategy” to increase Frasers Centrepoint Trust’s stake in the retail fund.

“We acquired the initial 17.1% stake in ARF in April 2019, followed by acquisitions of additional interest that increased FCT’s stake to the current 36.9%,” he said.

Acquisition of the remaining 63.1% stake was the final step in carrying that strategy to fruition.

To fund the purchase and pay down debt, Frasers Centrepoint Trust has proposed issuing up to 628m new securities, representing around 56.1% of the total number of issued units, to raise S$1.4bn.

Upon completion of the transactions, the listed Frasers Centrepoint Trust will lift its portfolio from seven to 11 assets, with the value of its assets increasing to S$6.7bn from S$3.96bn.

The proposed transactions are subject to approval by FCT’s unitholders at an extraordinary general meeting later this month.

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