ESR Australia makes offer to fully acquire Propertylink

Pedestrians cross a road in Brisbane, Australia. Photographer: Ian Waldie/Bloomberg News Photo by Bloomberg

Warburg Pincus-backed pan-Asia logistics platform ESR’s Australian arm has made an unconditional offer to ASX-listed Propertylink to fully acquire the real estate investment manager, it said in a statement on Wednesday.

ESR Australia has so far acquired 74.78 per cent of PropertyLink as Centuria Capital Group has accepted the offer in respect of its 19.51 per cent interest.

“ESR Australia currently intends to provide all Propertylink securityholders who validly accept the offer before 7pm Sydney time on February 28, 2019 their cash consideration on March 20, 2019,” said ESR.

The offer is scheduled to close at February 28. The logistics platform added that the offer price declared on January 21 is the best and final and will not increase the offer price in the absence of a superior proposal. Under the offer, the amount payable by ESR Australia is A$1.164 per Propertylink share.

Last November, ESR announced it entered into a binding agreement for the buyout of Propertylink Group to acquire all Propertylink shares which it or an associate does not already own by way of an agreed off-market takeover bid for cash consideration of A$1.201 per security offer or $526 million in total, after revising the final offer price from A$1.15.

The offer price revision put a rest to a long battle between Propertylink and ESR for control of local industrial REIT, Centuria Group.

ESR, which also runs capital and fund management offices in Hong Kong and Singapore, is one of the largest in the Asia-Pacific region, with assets under management of $12 billion, and over 10 million sq m of projects owned and under development across China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and India.

It is also backed by Dutch pension fund managers APG and PGGM, Canada’s CPPIB, Goldman Sachs. ESR expanded into the Australian market through the acquisition of industrial developer Commercial & Industry Property (CIP) last July.

ESR acquired CIP from Charter Hall Group for $76 million as the seed platform for the launch of ESR Australia. Its Australia foray comes after it had closed a pre-IPO investment from CITIC Securities One-Belt-One-Road (CSOBOR) Fund, a private equity investment fund of CLSA, the capital markets and investment group and a wholly owned subsidiary of CITIC Securities, last June.

The pan-Asian warehouse builder did not disclose the amount it had raised but said the investment from CLSA’s CSOBOR Fund would be used to fuel its platform expansion in China and across the Asia Pacific region.

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