Ascendas REIT to buy business parks from CapitaLand for S$1.7 billion

Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust said on Friday (Oct 31) it is buying 30 business parks in the United States and Singapore for about S$1.66 billion from its controlling unit holder CapitaLand.

The deal marks Ascendas REIT’s entry into the United States, where it is buying 28 business parks located in Raleigh, Portland and San Diego. It plans to fund the acquisition mainly through a S$1.3 billion rights issue and loan facilities.

In the rights issue, Ascendas will sell just over 498 million new units in the REIT at S$2.63 apiece, a discount of 17 per cent to Thursday’s closing price of S$3.17. It is likely to be among the largest rights issues by a Singapore REIT.

Several Singapore trusts, including Mapletree Commercial Trust and Keppel Pacific Oak US Reit , have raised capital over the last few months to fund their expansion plans.

Ascendas REIT’s portfolio currently consists of properties in Singapore, the United Kingdom and Australia. It embarked on a major expansion into Australia in 2015 when it acquired 26 logistics properties for A$1 billion.

Real estate developer CapitaLand said in a separate statement that it expected to realise a gain of about S$95.4 million upon completion of the deal. Including Friday’s proposed deal, CapitaLand has announced divestments of more than S$5.2 billion so far this year, it said.

Trading in Ascendas REIT units were halted ahead of the news on Friday, while CapitaLand shares were 0.8 per cent higher.

DBS Bank and JP Morgan (SEA) are the joint lead managers and underwriters for the rights issue.

Source: CNA – 1 Nov 2019

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