AEP Investment Said to Mull IPO for S$1 Billion Property Assets

  • Firm may seek real estate trust listing as early as next year
  • AEP’s Basil Property Trust has bought in Singapore, Australia

AEP Investment Management Pte, which invests in commercial real estate in Asia Pacific, is considering listing some of its assets through a Singapore initial public offering, people with knowledge of the matter said.

AEP has held talks with investment banks about potential exit options, including a real estate investment trust IPO comprising properties held by funds it manages, the people said. The Singapore-based company may seek a valuation of about S$1 billion ($701 million) for the portfolio, according to one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

The listing could take place as soon as next year, the people said. The assets in the IPO may include properties from AEP’s Basil Property Trust, a fund that owns Singapore’s StarHub Green business park and the 41 George Street office tower in Brisbane, according to the people.

Property trusts have raised $2.8 billion in Singapore IPOs since the start of 2014, accounting for more than half of all fundraising from the city-state’s new listings during the period, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The FTSE Straits Times Real Estate Investment Trust Index has gained 2.7 percent this year, bucking the 0.7 percent decline in the benchmark Straits Times Index.

The plans are at an early stage, and there’s no certainty deliberations will result in a transaction, the people said. AEP Chief Executive Officer Yusof Wahid said by e-mail the company is actively working on “value enhancement works” for Basil Property Trust assets, adding that he can’t comment at this stage on exit plans.

Canadian insurer Manulife Financial Corp. listed a portfolio of U.S. office buildings through a $483 million Singapore IPO in May, according to the Bloomberg-compiled data. Frasers Centrepoint Ltd., backed by billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, formed an Australian industrial REIT that raised $683 million in a Singapore IPO this June, the data show.

AEP, backed by Saudi investment firm Al Rajhi Group, was set up in 2008, according to its website.

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