ESR-Reit and Viva Industrial Trust merger scheme takes effect

SINGAPORE - The scheme of arrangement for the merger of ESR-Reit (real estate investment trust) and Viva Industrial Trust (VIT) into Singapore's fourth-largest industrial property trust became effective and binding on Monday (Oct 15), their managers announced separately before trading opened.

In accordance with the scheme's terms, VIT's stapled securities are expected to be delisted on Oct 22.

The move follows the approval from ESR-Reit unitholders and VIT stapled securityholders at their respective meetings on Aug 31, the sanction of the scheme by Singapore's High Court and the receipt of approval of Jurong Town Corporation.

The enlarged trust will have combined assets of about $3.0 billion from a more diversified portfolio of 56 properties with a total gross floor area of 13.6 million square feet.

In connection with the merger and the scheme, ESR-Reit said its trustee, RBC Investor Services Trust Singapore Limited, has entered into a $700 million unsecured loan facility agreement with several lenders including UOB, RHB Bank, HSBC and Maybank's Singapore Branch.

The proceeds will be applied towards the part refinancing of existing loan facilities granted to its trustee, the refinancing of VIT's existing loan facilities and its multi-currency medium term note programme, the part financing of the cash consideration for the scheme, and the payment of other expenses incurred in connection with it.