Frasers Centrepoint poised to make $3 billion bid for Australian developer

SINGAPORE developer Frasers Centrepoint (FCL) is poised to make a A$2.6 billion (S$3.02 billion) bid for Sydney-listed Australand Property Group - looking to snatch the prize from under the nose of another bidder.

FCL, controlled by Thai tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, has submitted a proposal to buy all of Australand for A$4.48 per stapled security.

But it is still a proposal at this stage; FCL will first conduct due diligence on its takeover target, before officially tabling an offer.

FCL will come up against Australian developer Stockland, Australand's top shareholder which has launched a all-share bid valued at about A$4.43 per unit.

The Singapore company already has had a boost.

Australand's directors plan to recommend FCL's offer - if it materialises - in the absence of a superior proposal and if an independent expert says FCL's deal is fair and reasonable.

In fact, Australand has now stopped Stockland's on-going due diligence process and given FCL an exclusive period of four weeks to pore through its books

"The board concluded that the (FCL) conditional proposal would deliver a compelling value outcome for Australand securityholders and is superior to the final and conditional proposal received from Stockland," Bloomberg quoted Australand chairman Paul Isherwood as saying in a statement.

The advantage is good news for FCL. Its chief executive Lim Ee Seng said in a statement that "the proposal will catapult FCL to being one of Australia's leading real estate companies with a portfolio of scale and quality".

He said Australia is a core market for FCL. "The group chose to enter the Australian market over a decade ago due to favourable fundamentals including its transparent regulatory environment, strong corporate governance, as well as its deep and mature property market."

Follow ST on LinkedIn and stay updated on the latest career news, insights and more.