South Korean conglomerate SK Holdings has pared its holding in Hong Kong-listed global logistics real estate firm ESR Cayman Ltd through a block deal for HK$3.15 billion ($406 million), the firm said on September 17.
Seoul-based SK Holdings sold 140 million shares, or a 4.6 per cent stake in the Asia Pacific-focused logistics real estate platform, at HK$22.5 ($2.9) apiece. SK Holdings retains a 6.4 per cent stake in ESR after the transaction.
“As the payback period in global investment has arrived, we will maintain great investment performances such as with ESR and will continue our efforts to live up to the market’s expectations and keep a virtuous cycle of investment and gain,” said SK Holdings cited by The Korean Herald.
In August 2017, SK Holdings had acquired a 10 per cent fully diluted stake in ESR for 374 billion won ($333 million) in what was the firm’s first investment in the logistics real estate sector and its largest ever minority deal. SK Holdings re-upped its stake in September 2018, ahead of ESR’s $1.6-billion Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO) in November 2019.
Co-founded by its senior management team and Warburg Pincus in 2011, ESR is the largest logistics real estate operator in the Asia Pacific involved in investments, fund management and property development. The ESR platform spans across China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Australia and India.
Its investors include Dutch pension fund APG; Chinese e-commerce major JD.com; CPP Investments, which oversees and invests the funds held by the Canada Pension Plan; OMERS, a Canadian Province of Ontario Government pension fund; and Chinese insurer Ping An, among others.
As of June 30, 2020, the fair value of the properties directly held by ESR and the total assets under management (AUM) of the funds and investment vehicles managed by the firm reached about $26.5 billion.
It recorded revenue of $198 million in H1 2020, up 26.9 per cent from $156 million in the same period in 2019, according to its latest financial results.