Cuscaden Peak, the consortium comprising Hotel Properties Limited (SGX: H15), businessman Ong Beng Seng, and Temasek-linked entities CLA Real Estate and Mapletree Fortress, has wasted no time in coming up with a revised offer for Singapore Press Holdings Limited (SGX: T39), or SPH.
This morning, the consortium upped its offer for SPH by offering SPH shareholders two options.
They can either choose to accept S$2.36 in cash or a combination of S$1.602 in cash and 0.782 shares of SPH REIT (SGX: SK6U) per SPH share that they own.
The second option values the deal at S$2.40 per share, based on the recent S$1.02 closing price for SPH REIT.
Investors should note that this counteroffer comes just five days after Keppel Corporation Limited (SGX: BN4) revised its offer for the media and property group.
The revision was in response to Cuscaden Peak’s initial cash offer of S$2.10 to acquire SPH.
Today’s cash offer is slightly higher than Keppel’s offer of S$2.351, while Cuscaden Peak’s second option values SPH at up to S$2.40 per share, almost five cents higher, but also introducing some price volatility as it involves units of a REIT.
It seems more and more likely that a bidding war may erupt for SPH as the two giants tussle for control over its properties and assets.
Cuscaden Peak has stated, in no uncertain terms, that its offer is superior to that of Keppel’s, both in terms of the cash component and the total consideration being offered per SPH share.
Should SPH shareholders vote for Cuscaden’s offer, they should see the transaction close by February next year, one month later than what Keppel has promised.
As the market digests this news, the ball is now back in Keppel’s court to decide on how to proceed.
The blue-chip conglomerate had previously said that its latest offer is final and irrevocable.
If so, the oil and gas conglomerate may give up on its bid for SPH.
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Disclaimer: Royston Yang does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned.