Blackstone may vie with Warburg, China group for GLP

Warehouse operator GLP, which owns industrial properties in Japan (left), China, the United States and Brazil, has asked for first-round offers by early next month.
Warehouse operator GLP, which owns industrial properties in Japan (left), China, the United States and Brazil, has asked for first-round offers by early next month.PHOTO: GLP

Bidders for Global Logistic Properties keen to take advantage of sector's demand boom

The Blackstone Group is considering an offer for Global Logistic Properties (GLP), potentially pitting itself against Warburg Pincus and a separate Chinese group in the bidding for the US$8.6 billion (S$12.3 billion) warehouse operator, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Warburg Pincus is forming a consortium to bid for the Singapore-based company and has been speaking to banks and potential bidding partners, according to the people.

An investor group, including Chinese buyout firm Hopu Investment Management, also remains keen to pursue a takeover of GLP and is preparing an offer, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

Bidder groups see the support of existing GLP management, led by chief executive officer Ming Mei, as key to the success of their offers, the sources said.

Any deal would also depend on the receptiveness of GIC, which holds a 37 per cent stake in GLP, those with knowledge of the matter said in November.

A purchase would help an acquirer take advantage of a boom in demand for warehouse space from e-commerce companies like JD.com and Alibaba Group Holding.

GLP, which owns industrial properties in China, Japan, the United States and Brazil, has asked for first-round offers by early next month, those with knowledge of the matter said previously.

The company said last month it would conduct a strategic review of options to improve shareholder value after a request from GIC, its biggest investor.

Mr Priyaranjan Kumar, regional executive director of capital markets at Cushman & Wakefield, said by phone yesterday: "For investors going long on Asia, logistics offers a direct play into the urbanisation story as Asian consumers seek developed-world standards of goods and services.

"It is not surprising to see the likes of Warburg Pincus wanting to take advantage of market dislocations and further strengthen its Asia platform."

Shares of GLP surged as much as 7.6 per cent in Singapore trading, hitting the highest intra-day level since June 2015.

Representatives or officials at Blackstone, GLP, Hopu and Warburg Pincus declined to comment.

Blackstone is the world's biggest private-equity real estate investor, with about US$102 billion worth of assets under management in the industry, according to its website.

Warburg Pincus previously invested in e-Shang Redwood Group, which owns a portfolio of logistics properties in China, Japan and South Korea.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 13, 2017, with the headline 'Blackstone may vie with Warburg, China group for GLP'. Print Edition | Subscribe