[SINGAPORE] Private equity investors Blackstone Group LP and Gaw Capital Partners are weighing separate bids for Singapore's Ascendas Hospitality Trust, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
The potential offers are being considered as bankers say falling market valuations and higher interest rate expectations are set to stoke prospects for mergers and acquisitions in the city state's property trust sector.
The target, which has a market value of US$600 million, is a 'stapled trust' comprising Ascendas Hospitality Real Estate Investment Trust and Ascendas Hospitality Business Trust. Stapled assets are created when two or more securities are contractually bound together so they cannot be bought or sold separately.
The trust's managers said last month they were reviewing options after receiving an unsolicited expression of interest to buy out all its stapled securities.
The people familiar with the matter declined to be identified because the information was not public.
Ascendas Hospitality and Hong Kong-based Gaw Capital declined to comment. An external spokeswoman for Blackstone also declined to comment.