SPH REIT to Raise Up to $394 Million in Initial Public Offering

July 9 (Bloomberg) -- Singapore Press Holdings Ltd., the newspaper publisher that owns the Paragon mall along the city’s shopping belt, is seeking to raise as much as S$504 million ($394 million) in an initial stock sale of its retail assets.

The real estate investment trust is offering 559.9 million shares at between 85 Singapore cents to 90 Singapore cents, according to a preliminary prospectus filed today with the city-state’s regulator. The offer includes an allotment of 251 million units to cornerstone investors including Great Eastern Life Assurance Co. and Morgan Stanley Investment Management Co., according to the document.

SPH REIT plans to offer a yield of as much as 6 percent based on fiscal 2014 projections for the two malls, which have a combined value of S$3.07 billion, it said. Singapore Press said in May it will hold about 70 percent of the REIT after it goes public, and the proceeds will fund the group’s growth and a special dividend.

“The manager will take an active role in managing and enhancing SPH REIT’s properties,” SPH REIT said in the prospectus, adding that it will “assess acquisition opportunities in line with SPH REIT’s investment objective.”

There is an over-allotment option of 56 million units, it said.

Singapore’s property trusts, Asia’s second-worst performers this year, are well-positioned to weather an increase in interest rates as they diversify their funding sources, said Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. The average debt maturity of Singapore REITs has risen to four to five years from three years, Rohit Mohindra, the head of real estate for Southeast Asia at ANZ, said in an interview in Singapore on June 27.

Singapore’s FTSE Strait Times Real Estate Investment Trust Index lost 5.1 percent this year, compared with the 0.4 percent gain in the city’s benchmark Straits Times Index.

Credit Suisse Group AG is the sole global coordinator for the Singapore Press REIT offer, and the underwriters are DBS Group Holdings Ltd. and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joyce Koh in Singapore at jkoh38@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andreea Papuc at apapuc1@bloomberg.net