Aug 08, 2014

    Australand shareholders accept S'pore firm's offer

    FRASERS Centrepoint is on track to complete its biggest acquisition after more than half of Australand Property Group shareholders accepted the Singapore company's takeover offer, according to two people familiar with the matter.

    It has received enough acceptances from the Australian company's equity investors to make its A$4.48 (S$ $5.19) a share bid unconditional, said sources, who asked not to be identified as the details are private.

    The purchase gives Frasers Centrepoint - which began trading independently of Fraser & Neave in January - control of Australand's A$2.4 billion of office and industrial properties and A$9.3 billion of developments in Australia.

    Frasers Centrepoint is seeking to boost its operations in faster-growing overseas markets, which contributed 38 per cent of earnings as of March 31, from 10 per cent a year earlier, and has flagged Australia and China as preferred destinations.

    Equity investors in the Australian company are now entitled to a 12.75 Australian cent dividend.

    Frasers Centrepoint declined to comment.

    On July 31, it said that the offer could be extended if it received at least 50 per cent of acceptances by its deadline yesterday.

    CapitaLand, formerly Australand's biggest shareholder, sold its 39 per cent stake in the company in March.

    Sydney-based Stockland, which bought 19.9 per cent of Australand on CapitaLand's exit, followed that with an all-share bid, which Australand rejected in April. Stockland sweetened its bid in May, but was trumped by Frasers Centrepoint.

    Australand shares have climbed 16 per cent to A$4.48 this year, compared with a 3 per cent gain in the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index.