CapitaCommercial Trust to raise S$828.3m in rights issue

CapitaCommercial Trust (CCT) is looking to raise S$828.3 million through a 1-for-1 rights issue.

According to the real estate investment trust, the proceeds will be used primarily to reduce its borrowings.

CCT is looking to ease its debt burden, which comes to some S$2.6 billion. And it plans to do so with a S$828.3 million rights issue.

Under the rights issue, it plans to offer unit-holders one unit for every unit they currently hold.

The rights are priced at 59 cents each, or a 44 per cent discount from the counter’s closing price of S$1.06 on Thursday.

CCT said the rights issue will help put the trust into a position of strength.

Lynette Leong, CEO, CapitaCommercial Trust, said: “This year, after we have successfully refinanced, we feel that moving forward we want to focus on enhancing our financial flexibility even further.

“With such an uncertain economic environment, we never can tell whether the credit availability will be there next year. And the current market also provides an opportunity for equity fund raising.”

The new funds will help CCT achieve a target gearing of around the lower end of 30 to 45.

Parent firm, CapitaLand, which owns about 31 per cent of CCT, will subscribe for its full share of the offer.

Speaking at the briefing on Friday, CapitaLand also defended CCT’s decision for not conducting a rights issue earlier.

Olivier Lim, chief financial officer, CapitaLand, said: “When CCT approached CapitaLand for its support to subscribe for the fund raising, we agreed wholeheartedly because we have seen what the CapitaLand and the CMT experience has been.

“We live in a dynamic market. I think CapitaLand does take into account all recent information. At the time, the rights price in the market was very weak, it would have been silly to go forward with an equity fund raising, but I think now the market is more conducive.”

Earlier this year, CapitaLand also held a rights issue, raising some S$1.84 billion of capital.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 22 May 2009

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