Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Singapore's CapitaLand buys rest of Ascott unit

SINGAPORE, Jan 8 - Singapore's CapitaLand , Southeast Asia's largest property firm by market value, said on Tuesday that it will pay S$1.73 per share to fully take over and privatise Ascott Group, its 67-percent owned service residence unit.

The property developer, which is making the voluntary unconditional cash offer through wholly-owned subsidiary Somerset Capital, said the offer is at a 43 percent premium to Ascott's last traded share price and values the company at S$2.8 billion. - Reuters

My comments:

Another day. Another company being taken over. I see no reason why CapitaLand would want to take Ascott private. Having previously said that they would want to employ an "asset light" strategy, they are actually spending money to acquire assets in this case. And if they wanted to acquire assets and spin them off into a REIT, it also doesn't look right to me as they already have Ascott REIT currently listed and they could have thrown in more assets from Ascott into Ascott REIT.

Obviously, Ascott is undervalued by the market and the way to go is to take it private. As a Ascott shareholder, I will not accept this offer. I believe the company is worth more than what CapitaLand have to offer since its exposure to Service Residences across Europe and Asia is one of the gem in the company.



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