Keppel Corp sweetens offer for Singapore Press to $2.8b

Photo: Keppel

Conglomerate Keppel Corp sweetened its bid to buy Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), excluding its media business, heating up the bidding war with state investor Temasek Holdings over control of the media and real estate firm.

Singapore’s Keppel in a statement late on Tuesday said it is now offering S$2.351 per share to SPH shareholders in cash plus stock, higher than its initial offer of S$2.099 and outbidding the Temasek-linked consortium’s S$2.1 per share.

The improved bid comes weeks after the consortium, Cuscaden Peak, swooped in with a superior offer to Keppel‘s, escalating the bidding war among investors eyeing SPH’s property assets, which include malls, student accommodation and facilities for care of the elderly.

Keppel‘s revised offer, which it says is “final and would not be increased”, includes an increase in the cash component of the offer by 20 Singapore cents per share, and values SPH at S$3.74 billion ($2.77 billion).

“While we believe that this is an attractive acquisition, Keppel will remain disciplined. We will not acquire SPH at any cost, and have made it clear that this is the final consideration,” Keppel Chief Executive Loh Chin Hua said.

“If the transaction is completed, SPH shareholders can receive their consideration by mid-January 2022,” he added.

Keppel‘s revised bid represents an 8.8% premium to SPH’s last close of S$2.160.

SPH, which has been engaging with Cuscaden since the offer was made in late October, in a separate statement acknowledged Keppel‘s revised bid and said it will hold a scheme meeting for its shareholders to decide on the revised bid by Dec. 8.

SPH holds stakes in a handful of malls in Singapore and Australia, its own student accommodations in Britain and Germany, a private nursing home in Singapore and aged care assets in Japan.

($1 = 1.3504 Singapore dollars)

Reuters

 

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.