GLP chief exec backs China group's buyout bid

SINGAPORE • Chinese dealmaker Fang Fenglei won backing from Global Logistic Properties' (GLP) chief executive officer as he pursues a takeover of the US$9 billion (S$12.7 billion) warehouse owner, which could become the biggest Asian buyout deal, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Mr Fang's Beijing-based private equity firm, Hopu Investment Management, submitted an offer for the Singapore company together with Hillhouse Capital Management and GLP chief executive officer Ming Mei, according to the people.

Blackstone Group and an investor group led by Warburg Pincus also made non-binding bids, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

GLP shares yesterday ended 4.6 per cent higher at $2.74 in Singapore, the biggest intraday gain in more than three weeks.

GLP announced last Friday that it received a number of non-binding proposals, which will be evaluated by a special committee of independent board members. Mr Fang and the company's CEO each have an interest in one of the parties that submitted proposals and have recused themselves from related board discussions, it said in a Singapore Exchange filing. GLP did not give further details of the bidding groups.

A purchase of GLP, which owns industrial property in China, Japan, the United States and Brazil, would help an acquirer take advantage of a boom in demand for warehouse space from e-commerce firms like Alibaba Group Holding and JD.com.

GLP said last December it would conduct a strategic review of options to improve shareholder value after a request from its biggest investor, Singapore sovereign fund GIC.

GLP shares have soared 46 per cent since news of the takeover interest emerged, valuing the firm at about US$11.5 billion including debt. At that level, a purchase of the industrial property owner would be the largest buyout of an Asian company, surpassing last year's takeover of Qihoo 360 Technology,data compiled by Bloomberg show.

BLOOMBERG

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

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 07, 2017, with the headline GLP chief exec backs China group's buyout bid. Subscribe