Ascendas Hospitality Trust plunges after sale plans called off

SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) - Ascendas Hospitality Trust fell by a record after the hotel owner called off plans for a sale.

Units of the trust fell as much as 14 per cent in Singapore trading on Wednesday (April 6), the most since its July 2012 listing, and were down 10 per cent to 68.5 Singapore cents at 2:27 pm.

Ascendas said its managers "decided not to proceed with, and have ceased all discussions in relation to" a proposed transaction after evaluating offers from potential buyers, accordingto a stock exchange filing late on Tuesday.

Blackstone Group, Gaw Capital Partners and a group led by Varde Partners planned to submit final bids for Ascendas Hospitality, people with knowledge of the matter said in February. Ascendas Hospitality announced last week the valuation of its properties in Australia, China, Japan and Singapore had increased to S$1.49 billion.

The trust asked the three final bidders to increase their offers based on the updated property valuations, people with knowledge of the matter said. Ascendas Hospitality decided to terminate the sale process after determining the new bids were still too low, according to one of the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private.

Ascendas Hospitality owns 11 hotels with more than 4,000 rooms, including properties like Park Hotel Clarke Quay in Singapore and Novotel Beijing Sanyuan in China, its website states. The trust said in its March statement that the pro-forma net asset value per stapled security at the end of December would have been 84.2 Singapore cents based on the new property valuations, instead of the 70.3 Singapore cents announced previously.

Representatives for Ascendas Hospitality, Blackstone and Gaw Capital declined to comment, while a spokeswoman for Varde didn't immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment outside regular US business hours.

Ascendas Pte, a unit of Singapore state-owned investment firm Temasek Holdings, owns 26.5 per cent of Ascendas Hospitality while Chinese property tycoon Tong Jinquan has a 5 percent stake, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.