Frasers Said to Get Over 50% Assent for Australand

Frasers Centrepoint Ltd. is on track to complete its biggest acquisition after more than half of Australand Property Group shareholders accepted the Singapore company’s takeover offer, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Frasers has received enough acceptances from the Australian company’s equity investors to make its A$4.48-cents-a-share bid unconditional, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the details are private.

The purchase gives Frasers -- which began trading independently from Fraser & Neave Ltd. in January -- control of Australand’s A$2.4 billion ($2.2 billion) of office and industrial properties and A$9.3 billion of developments in Australia. Frasers is seeking to boost its operations in faster-growing overseas markets, which contributed 38 percent of earnings as of March 31 from 10 percent a year earlier, and has flagged Australia and China as preferred destinations.

Equity investors in the Australian company are now entitled to a 2.6 Australian cent dividend.

Frasers declined to comment in an e-mailed statement. Australand Managing Director Bob Johnston also declined to comment, according to Trudy Wise, an external spokeswoman for the company at Wise McBaron Communication.

Frasers on July 31 said the offer can be extended if it receives at least 50 percent of acceptances by its deadline of 7 p.m. today Sydney time.

CapitaLand Ltd., formerly Australand’s biggest shareholder, sold its 39 percent stake in the company in March. Sydney-based Stockland, which bought 19.9 percent of Australand on CapitaLand’s exit, followed that with an all-share bid, which Australand rejected in April. Stockland sweetened its bid in May and was trumped by Frasers.

Australand shares have climbed 16 percent to A$4.48 this year, compared with a 3 percent gain the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index. Frasers securities increased 19 percent this year to S$1.76 as of 4:15 p.m. Singapore time.

(Corrects dividend in fourth paragraph.)
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