Keppel Corporation has made its “final and irrevocable” S$3.8bn (€2.4bn) offer for the property and fund management businesses of listed media company Singapore Press Holdings (SPH).

The scrip and cash offer of S$2.351 for each SPH share is 12% higher than Keppel’s original bid in August, and a 9% premium to SPH’s last trading price of S$2.16 on November 9.

In a joint statement, the companies said: “SPH acknowledges that Keppel’s final offer is superior to the competing offer from Cuscaden Peak, and will undertake to call for the SPH scheme meeting.

“The proposed acquisition is strategic and financially attractive for Keppel even at higher consideration, and is well-supported by improving values of SPH’s portfolio and the growing synergies identified.”

The latest proposal from Keppel is in response to a counter-bid for SPH from Cuscaden Peak, a consortium backed by Hotel Properties Ltd (HLP) and two Temasek-linked companies, CLA Real Estate Holdings and Mapletree. The consortium offered in October to pay S$2.10 per share in cash.

In a media briefing, SPH chief executive officer Ng Yat Chung said while the Keppel Corp’s offer was currently the best on the table, SPH was still open to considering “superior” offers.

Loh Chin Hua, CEO of Keppel Corp, said: “We believe this is a compelling and win-win proposition for both Keppel and SPH shareholders.”

Loh said the bid was a strategic and rare opportunity for Keppel to acquire a quality platform that was strongly aligned and complementary to Keppel’s business model and capabilities.

To read the digital edition of the latest IPE Real Assets magazine click here.