Temasek-backed Mapletree Commercial Trust (MCT) has sweetened its offer to take over Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust (MNACT) with a cash option worth up to S$2.2bn (€1.5bn).

MCT made its original offer in December with a combined offer of scrip and cash, valued at S$4.2bn. It is now offering MNACT unit holders cash payment of S$1.1949 per unit, wholly in cash.

This followed actions by activist groups and criticisms from the Securities Investors Association in Singapore over the rationale and terms of the proposed merger.

Sharon Lim, chief executive officer of MCT manager, said: “The addition of the alternative cash-only consideration to MNACT unitholders gives them complete flexibility in electing the form of scheme consideration.”

Lim said, however, this did not change the merger’s previous terms or the strategic and financial rationale for the merger which was to drive the future growth of the enlarged entity.

Hiew Yoon Khong, group chief executive officer of Mapletree Investments, said the merger represented “an exceptional” opportunity in terms of unlocking value for unitholders through the creation of a flagship Asian commercial REIT.

Temasek is the single largest unitholder in both trusts, owning 32.6% of MCT and 38.1% of MNACT as of 29 December.

The merger will create a vehicle with a S$10.5bn portfolio.

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