Singaporeans Set to Take Over Australand

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Monday, July 7th, 2014
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Residential and commercial property giant Australand has agreed to a $2.6 billion takeover bid made by Singaporean developer Frasers Centrepoint.

The company’s directors have indicated that they intend to accept the cash offer from the Singaporeans, which values each security in Australand at $4.48. The directors recommended investors follow suit.

“After carefully considering the offer, the Australand directors unanimously recommend the offer, in the absence of a superior proposal and subject to an independent expert opinion concluding the offer is fair and reasonable to Australand securityholders,” announced the company in a statement.

Australand has already entered a bid implementation agreement with Frasers which outlines how the two companies will cooperate throughout the course of the acquisition process.

The agreement means the Singaporeans have effectively scuppered Stockland’s efforts to takeover Australand.

Stockland, which acquired 19.9 per cent of Australand and in March at an average price of $3.78 per share, sweetened its bid for the Sydney-headquarterd  property giant in early June with an offer that valued the company at $2.5 billion, or $4.43 per share.

A week later, Frasers Centrepoint issued its $4.48 per share offer, which was met with enthusiasm by the Australand board.

The board stated at the time that the Singaporean takeover offer would provide a “superior outcome” for shareholders, and promptly entered an exclusive consultation agreement with Frasers which has lasted for the past month.

While Australand reserves the right to terminate the agreement should another suitor make a sweeter offer, analysts doubt Stockland will attempt to beat the Singaporean bid, given the difficulty of extracting value past the threshold of the $4.48 offer.

Stockland boss Mark Steinert also indicated last month that the company was reluctant to raise its offer.

The acquisition of Australand by Frasers is part of a concerted bid by the Singaporean developer to expand into rapid-growth overseas markets in the region, with Australia and China considered key target destinations.

Frasers is already preoccupied with the construction of the Central Park project in the Sydney CBD, a mixed-used urban renewal project which will encompass 2,000 apartments.

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