GLP suitors include parties tied to directors

Mr Mei is a co-founder of GLP and the former CEO of logistics giant Prologis.
Mr Mei is a co-founder of GLP and the former CEO of logistics giant Prologis.

CEO and director have recused themselves from related meetings

Leading logistics group Global Logistic Properties has received several proposals from would-be buyers of the company, including some connected to its directors.

In December, the Singapore-listed company worth $12.3 billion launched a strategic review to try to boost shareholder value.

In a Singapore Exchange filing yesterday, GLP said the "non-binding proposals" from various parties arising from the review did not yet involve a definitive deal. There was "no assurance" any deal would materialise, it added.

GLP said it has taken steps to prevent potential conflicts of interest, given the involvement of two members with parties which had put forward proposals.

The two members of the board with interests in GLP's suitors are chief executive Ming Z Mei, as well as Mr Fang Fenglei, a non-executive and non-independent director.

GLP said that the two board members have recused themselves from all board discussions, as well as decisions over the strategic review.

Mr Mei is a GLP co-founder and a former chief executive of New York-listed logistics giant Prologis for China and Asian emerging markets. Mr Fang, dubbed "China's ultimate dealmaker", runs private equity group Hopu Investment Management. A Chinese linguistics literature graduate of Sun Yat-sen University in Guangdong, he is a veteran who led the restructuring and listing of state-owned enterprises, such as China Mobile. He also struck a ground-breaking deal which allowed Goldman Sachs to enter China.

Bloomberg reports said Hopu Investment had formed a consortium last year to make a bid for GLP. Other rumoured suitors include Blackstone Group and United States private equity firm Warburg Pincus.

GLP also said a special review committee had been set up to oversee the strategic review, comprising four independent directors, including chairman Seek Ngee Huat.

The strategic review was requested on Dec 1 last year by GLP's largest stakeholder, Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, which wanted the company to examine options to enhance shareholder value.

Last month, citing sources, Bloomberg said GLP had sent out an information letter to targeted bidders at the end of December.

GLP, which has a market capitalisation of about $12.3 billion, manages US$39 billion (S$55 billion) of industrial properties worldwide through its global real-estate fund.

Purchasing the company would allow the buyer to take advantage of a boom in demand for warehouse space from e-commerce firms.

The company inked several significant deals last year. In December, it set up a US$620 million fund that is expected to invest US$1.5 billion over three years.

That month, it completed buying a US$1.1 billion logistics portfolio from Hillwood Development. That made it the No. 2 owner and operator of logistics facilities in the US, and it has recently been buying up more facilities there.

While GLP ranks behind Prologis in the US, it is the largest logistics property owner and operator in China, Japan and Brazil.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 04, 2017, with the headline 'GLP suitors include parties tied to directors'. Print Edition | Subscribe