Blackstone makes S$1.17 offer per unit for Croesus Retail Trust, valuing it at $900.6m

Torius Property, a large-scale suburban retail mall in Fukuoka, part of Croesus Retail Trust's portfolio of properties in Japan.
Torius Property, a large-scale suburban retail mall in Fukuoka, part of Croesus Retail Trust's portfolio of properties in Japan.PHOTO: CROESUS RETAIL TRUST

SINGAPORE - US private equity firm Blackstone has offered to buy out Croesus Retail Trust in an all-cash deal, by way of a trust scheme.

Blackstone is offering unit holders S$1.17 in cash for each Croesus unit, a premium of about 38 per cent over the volume weighted average price of 85 Singapore cents per unit for the 12-month period up to April 25.

Croesus units rose 9.5 cents or 9 per cent to S$1.15 as at 12.40pm following the offer announcement.

The scheme consideration implies a S$900.6 million equity value for the Japan-based retail business trust which has a 113 billion yen (S$1.4 billion) portfolio of malls in Tokyo, Osaka, Hokkaido and other prefectures.

The scheme is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter this year, and Croesus unitholders who accept the offer will also get to keep the September distribution of about 4.06 Singapore cents per unit.

In its outlook update in May, Croesus noted that commercial land prices in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka have continued to appreciate.

"Property prices in Osaka, in particular, have risen significantly due to an increase of foreign visitors, driving cap rate compressions even further. This has given rise to greater competition among Japanese real estate investment trusts and property players, for retail property in prime locations," Croesus said in its third quarter report. It also reported a 14.4 per cent jump in third quarter net property income.

Croesus has doubled its asset size to 11 retail assets in Japan, from just four at the point of its listing in 2013. Its market cap has also doubled since than.

Croesus units closed at S$1.055 last Friday before the offer was announced, working out to a market cap of S$814 million. The units are up almost 25 per cent this year.

A trading halt was lifted following the announcement on Wednesday (June 28).

Croesus first mentioned that it had been approached for a possible takeover on April 26.