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AA Reit sponsor raises S$94.9m from unit placement via bookbuilding

AIMS Financial has carried out a secondary placement of 70.3 million units in AIMS Apac Reit (AA Reit) on Wednesday at S$1.35 per unit, the manager of the industrial real estate investment trust (Reit) announced during the midday break.

This works out to around S$94.9 million raised from the placement, which occurred via a bookbuilding process by Merrill Lynch (Singapore), DBS Bank and Maybank Kim Eng Securities.

These units, comprising 10.09 per cent of the total number of AA Reit units currently in issue, were placed out to predominantly new investors, including institutional, sovereign wealth, family office and high net worth investors across the Asia-Pacific and Europe, the Reit manager said.

The sale price of S$1.35 per unit is at the bottom end of the offering's indicative range of S$1.35-1.41 apiece, according to a term sheet seen by The Business Times. It also represents an 8.8 per cent discount to the units' closing price of S$1.48 on Oct 15, compared to a 4.7 per cent discount if the upper end of the range had been achieved.

The settlement date will be Oct 18, the term sheet stated.

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The placement came after AIMS exercised the call option relating to the 70.3 million units, which were previously held by AIMS' former joint venture partner AMP Capital Investors and its affiliates.

AMP Capital in March sold its 50 per cent shareholding in the management companies of AA Reit to AIMS, which then became the sole sponsor of the Reit. As part of that transaction, AMP would also sell its 10.26 per cent holding in AA Reit units to AIMS, and this stake sale was subject to the exercise of the call option.

The call option and subsequent secondary placement are meant to help diversify the Reit's investor base, enhance its investor profile and improve its trading liquidity, the manager said.

The Reit manager had announced earlier on Wednesday morning that AIMS will be carrying out the placement on the same day. 

To avoid a disorderly trading of AA Reit units while the bookbuilding was ongoing, the manager called for a trading halt before the market opened. After the completion of the bookbuilding exercise, it requested that the trading halt be lifted at 1.30pm on Wednesday.

AA Reit was formerly known as AIMS AMP Capital Industrial Reit, before AMP sold its management rights.

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