OUE C-Reit to buy OUE Downtown offices for $908m

It plans 83-for-100 rights issue at $0.456 per rights unit

OUE Commercial Real Estate Investment Trust (C-Reit) has agreed to buy the office components of the OUE Downtown development from sponsor OUE for $908 million, according to exchange filings early yesterday.

To help pay for the acquisition, OUE C-Reit is also proposing to raise $587.5 million through an underwritten and renounceable rights issue on the basis of 83 new units for every 100 units held at $0.456 per rights unit. OUE C-Reit units closed at 66.5 cents on Monday before the deals were announced. The rights issue pricing represents a theoretical ex-rights price of 57 cents.

Credit Suisse and OCBC Bank are the lead managers and underwriters of the deal.

OUE, a property developer with a 55.9 per cent stake in the trust, has agreed to fully subscribe for its entitlement in the rights issue. It has also agreed to a sub-underwriting agreement to buy up 66 per cent of the rights units offered to other unit holders if those are not taken up.

OUE Downtown, a mixed-use development comprising two high-rise towers, is located along Shenton Way in Singapore's Central Business District. A multi-storey carpark, a serviced residence component and a retail podium in the same development are excluded from the deal. The office components were 95.1 per cent occupied as at June 30, and have a weighted average lease expiry of two years when weighted by gross rental income and by net lettable area.

The purchase price works out to about $1,713 per square foot, a 2 per cent discount to a valuation by Savills and a 3.9 per cent discount to a valuation by Colliers.

On top of the purchase price, OUE C-Reit expects acquisition-related fees and expenses to bring the total cost of the transaction to about $956 million. The trust will pay for $361.6 million of the acquisition through debt and borrowings.

OUE said that the proposed sale will unlock capital for higher-growth reinvestment opportunities, and allow the company to pursue its strategy through a capital efficient platform and to derive a stable income stream.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 12, 2018, with the headline 'OUE C-Reit to buy OUE Downtown offices for $908m'. Print Edition | Subscribe