Blackstone's buyout of Croesus gets unitholders' nod

Croesus Shinsaibashi in Osaka, one of the retail business trust's 11 malls in Japan. The buyout by United States private equity giant Blackstone is subject to High Court approval, with a hearing expected on Oct 2.
Croesus Shinsaibashi in Osaka, one of the retail business trust's 11 malls in Japan. The buyout by United States private equity giant Blackstone is subject to High Court approval, with a hearing expected on Oct 2.PHOTO: CROESUS RETAIL TRUST

Croesus Retail Trust investors vote to accept $901m offer to take firm private

Unitholders of Croesus Retail Trust voted yesterday to accept the $900.6 million offer from United States private equity giant Blackstone to take the firm private.

The two proposals relating to the buyout received overwhelming backing of almost 99 per cent of investors present or those represented by proxies.

The trust deed amendment was approved with 98.72 per cent, Croesus said, while the scheme was backed by 82.42 per cent of unitholders present and voting, representing 98.68 per cent of units represented by votes.The buyout is subject to High Court approval, with a hearing expected on Oct 2.

If the scheme becomes effective, unitholders will be paid $1.17 per unit, likely by around Oct 23.

But if the effective date comes after Oct 31, unitholders could get up to an additional 90 per cent of Croesus's distributable income for the period from Nov 1 to this effective date.

The cash offer will not be reduced by the permitted distributions, nor will it be reduced by transaction expenses of up to US$9 million (S$12.1 million).

The last day of trading is expected to be Oct 5 with delisting by Oct 24.

CIMB Bank, the independent financial adviser, had said earlier that Blackstone's $1.17 per unit cash offer was "fair and reasonable", and recommended that holders accept the bid.

It said the offer price represents a premium of 24.5 per cent to 37.7 per cent over the various volume-weighted average trading prices from listing until June 23, the last full day of trading before the bid was announced.

Mr David Lim, chairman and independent director of the trustee-manager, said yesterday: "I am very happy for our unitholders that they have this opportunity to realise a profitable investment."

Croesus closed unchanged at $1.165 when trading resumed yesterday afternoon following a halt before markets opened.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 14, 2017, with the headline 'Blackstone's buyout of Croesus gets unitholders' nod'. Print Edition | Subscribe