Strategic review overseen by independent directors, company took steps to ensure fairness: GLP

A file picture of the logo of Global Logistic Properties Ltd. displayed during its listing ceremony in 2010. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - Global Logistic Properties issued a release on Friday saying that a special committee of independent directors is overseeing a strategic review undertaken by the company, and the firm has taken measures to alleviate potential conflicts of interest and ensure fairness of process.

GLP was reacting to a report in the Financial Times which stated that potential bidders were dropping out of auction for GLP properties, following concerns over a possible insider bid by a consortium led by company chief executive Ming Mei.

"The company has undertaken measures to alleviate potential conflicts of interest and ensure fairness of the process," GLP said in a listing on SGX adding: "all directors with a conflict or a potential conflict of interest have recused themselves from all decisions relating to the review".

The company remains in discussion with shortlisted bidders, it added.

"No binding proposals have been received to date and the company wishes to emphasize that any firm proposals, if and when received, may remain non-binding, may be subject to relevant regulatory approvals or other conditions and may not be offers that are capable of acceptance," the release said.

"There is no certainty that any proposals will be received or that any definitive transaction will materialize from, or any offer will be made as a result of, any proposals received."

The company also requested lifting of trading halt.

The FT report had quoted unnamed sources to say that private equity groups Blackstone, KKR, RRJ and TPG has decided against making a comprehensive offer for GLP, as the June 30 deadline for the bids neared, concern that their submissions will be pointless following the insider bid.

The consortium led by Mr Mei included Fang Fenglei, a director of GLP, and a fund associated with Alibaba's Jack Ma.

GLP shares dropped 7.33 per cent to S$2.780 in morning trade, and the company requested trading halt pending an annoucement.

The complaints had cast spotlight on the governance of an Asian company, which counts sovereign wealth fund GIC as its biggest shareholder. GIC had insisted on a public auction and pushed for a special committee of four independent directors to oversee the sale.

"GIC expects all our investee companies and their boards to act in accordance with applicable laws and regulations and to have appropriate corporate governance practices," a GIC spokesman told FT.

The chairman of that committee, Seek Ngee Huat, who also chairs GLP's board, said: "The objective of the strategic review is to maximise value for all shareholders, which is why we are singularly focused on ensuring that the process is conducted in a fair and independent manner."

Mainboard-listed GLP has an enterprise value of US$19billion (S$26.4 billion). The auction is expected to generate proceeds of about US$10.5 billion.

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