Consortium makes competing bid to acquire Singapore Press Holdings


By Ben Otto

A consortium backed by Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek has made a cash offer to acquire Singapore Press Holdings for around $ 2.5 billion, rivaling an existing offer from conglomerate Keppel Corp.

Cuscaden Peak, a consortium of companies affiliated with Temasek, Hotel Properties Ltd. and Mapletree Investments Pte. Ltd., announced on Friday that it had offered to acquire all shares of SPH for S $ 2.10 per share.

The offer price is a 5.5% premium over the last traded share price of S $ 1.99, valuing SPH at approximately S $ 3.4 billion ($ 2.5 billion) .

Cuscaden said in a statement he submitted his offer to SPH on Thursday and was ready to work with the company’s board of directors on a “serious and committed proposal.”

Acceptance of Cuscaden’s bid would trigger an additional bid for all units of SPH REIT, the consortium said.

The offer follows that of August by Keppel, an entity linked to Temasek with activities ranging from building platforms to infrastructure, as part of a campaign to build the conglomerate’s real estate portfolio. Keppel made a cash and share offer on SPH which gave the target an implied value of S $ 2.099 per share.

Keppel said in a Singapore Stock Exchange filing that he is reviewing the Cuscaden Peak offer and will make an announcement at the appropriate time.

Singapore Press Holdings operates in commercial and commercial real estate and student accommodation, with properties in Singapore and Australia. Shareholders approved a plan last month to turn the group’s media assets into a non-profit entity.

Cuscaden Peak is 40% owned by a unit of Hotel Properties, 30% by a unit of the holding company Temasek CLA Real Estate Holdings Ptd. Ltd., and 30% by a new Mapletree unit. Morgan Stanley Asia is acting as financial advisor to Cuscaden Peak for the offering.

Write to Ben Otto at [email protected]

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