Oct 29, 2014

    FCL seeks shareholders' nod on Australand

    FRASERS Centrepoint Limited (FCL) yesterday said it will hold an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on Nov 12 to seek its shareholders' approval on two counts.

    The first is to obtain their retroactive approval of the company's acquisition of Australand Property Group.

    The second is to get approval for an interested-person transaction.

    This transaction will have TCC Prosperity Limited subscribing for up to 50 per cent of the issue size or $300 million, whichever is lower, of the proposed offering of perpetual capital securities by FCL's wholly-owned subsidiary, FCL Treasury.

    This follows TCC Prosperity's participation as lead anchor investor in the launch of FCL's first subordinated perpetual capital securities last month.

    Lim Ee Seng, the group chief executive of FCL, said that Australia is a core market for the company and hopes Australand will fuel the group's growth.

    He said that FCL undertook a series of steps to improve its capital position following the acquisition of Australand, notably the issue of $600 million 4.88 per cent subordinated perpetual capital securities on Sept 24 and $200 million seven-year 3.95 per cent fixed rate notes on Oct 7.

    "The proposed offering will help us further diversify our funding sources, manage our debt exposure and bolster our balance sheet. We seek our shareholders' support to achieve a sustainable capital structure that will position us strategically for long-term growth," he said.

    With the proposed offering of the perpetual capital securities, the company's net debt-to-total equity post-acquisition of Australand would improve to 83 per cent, compared with the 119 per cent before the proposed offering.

    In July, FCL had announced its intention to launch an off-market takeover offer to acquire up to 100 per cent of the issued stapled securities of Australand.

    The offer valued Australand at about A$2.6 billion (S$3 billion).

    At the close of the offer early last month, FCL's relevant interest in Australand was approximately 98.4 per cent.

    Late last month, FCL started the compulsory acquisition of all the outstanding Australand Securities which it did not already own.

    The Australand Securities were subsequently suspended from the official quotation on the Australian Securities Exchange from the close of trading hours on Oct 1.