Hospitality trust's managers 'reviewing options' after unsolicited interest

Ascendas Hospitality Trust (A-HTrust) managers yesterday said they are "reviewing certain strategic options" following an unsolicited expression of interest to buy all the trust's stapled securities.

The announcement at around noon yesterday sent A-HTrust units surging by as much as 6.5 per cent after a trading halt was lifted.

In a Singapore Exchange filing, the trust managers said they have "initiated discussions with various parties to evaluate the viability" of the expression of interest.

However, they said the talks were "at an early stage" and "accordingly, there is no certainty that any definitive agreement will be entered into, and there is no certainty that any transaction will materialise from the current discussions".

Ascendas Hospitality Trust is a "stapled group" comprising Ascendas Hospitality Real Estate Investment Trust and Ascendas Hospitality Business Trust. A stapled security is an arrangement under which different securities are quoted jointly.

Ascendas Hospitality Trust was established to invest in a diversified portfolio of income-producing real estate across Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

It has 11 properties in its portfolio, of which six are in Australia, including Pullman Sydney Hyde Park, Novotel Sydney Central and Courtyard by Marriott North Ryde.

The trust also has two properties in Beijing, and one each in Singapore and the Japanese cities of Osaka and Tokyo. Together, Ascendas Hospitality Trust's portfolio comprises hotels with more than 4,100 rooms.The Singapore property is the 336-room Park Hotel Clarke Quay, near the Central Business District.

The counter jumped to 74 cents at one point, before closing 3.5 cents or 5 per cent higher at 73 cents.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 24, 2015, with the headline 'Hospitality trust's managers 'reviewing options' after unsolicited interest'. Print Edition | Subscribe