Morgan Stanley Private Equity to take 59.8% stake in Apac Realty, make mandatory general offer

Apac Realty has more than 20,000 advisers across 653 offices in Asia through its ERA franchisee network. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Apac Realty, which owns ERA Realty Network in Singapore, is set to have a new majority shareholder.

A fund managed by Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia (MSPEA) has agreed to acquire a 59.8 per cent stake in the company from an entity controlled by private equity firm Northstar Group.

The total consideration for the stake is around $129.5 million - or 61 cents per share - and the offeror also intends to make an unconditional mandatory general offer for all the outstanding shares in Apac Realty, other than those already owned, controlled or agreed to be acquired by it, according to the bourse filing on Monday (April 25).

The general offer would be in compliance with the requirements of the Singapore Code on Takeovers and Mergers.

The offer price is 57 cents in cash.

Apac Realty shareholders had earlier approved a final dividend of four cents per share for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2021, and the filing noted that the offer price would have been 61 cents per share, had the offer been open for acceptances before the ex-dividend date for the final dividend.

The 57 cents offer price represents a discount of 30.1 per cent to the last traded share price of 81.5 cents on Friday (April 22). It is also a 26.8 per cent discount to the volume weighted average price per share of 77.9 cents for the one-month period prior to and including April 22.

The offeror's present intention is to "acquire as many shares as possible under the offer". In the event that the trading of the shares on the Singapore Exchange is suspended due to a loss of free float, the offeror intends to delist the company.

Apac Realty has more than 20,000 advisers across 653 offices in Asia through its ERA franchisee network.

The investment in Apac Realty marks MSPEA's first investment in the real estate services sector in South-east Asia.

"Apac Realty is one of a limited number of real estate brokerages with true Asia Pacific brand recognition and footprint," said MSPEA co-chief investment officer Andrew Hawkyard.

"MSPEA will help to further build on this solid foundation and support APAC Realty's growth by leveraging our global network and extensive experience of growing businesses across Asia."

Apac Realty shares closed at 80.5 cents on Monday, down 1.2 per cent before the announcement. The company requested for a trading halt after the close of trading on Monday.

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