* FCL bid trumped rival offer from Stockland
* To help FCL diversify risk from weak Singapore home market
* Charoen increasingly looking beyond Thailand for deals
(adds details, analyst quote)
SINGAPORE, July 1 Singapore's Frasers
Centrepoint Ltd (FCL), a company backed by Thai
billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, has reached a deal to buy
Australia's Australand Property Group for about A$2.6
billion ($2.46 billion).
Analysts say the deal will help boost FCL's recurring income
base and diversify risk from the Singapore residential market,
which has been hit by a raft of government cooling measures.
It is also a sign of Charoen's growing appetite for
acquisitions outside Thailand after he took over conglomerate
Fraser and Neave in an $11 billion deal last year.
"I believe the FCL-Australand deal makes sense
strategically, with benefits of building recurring income and
scale in its core market Australia," said Tan Xuan, analyst at
CIMB Securities Ltd in Singapore.
FCL last month entered the bidding race for the Australian
firm, trumping the A$2.5 billon offer from Stockland Corp Ltd
, which is currently the biggest shareholder of
Australand with a 15.7 percent stake.
Australand said a statement on Tuesday it has entered into
an agreement with FCL under which the Singapore firm's
wholly-owned subsidiary will make an offer to buy Australand's
stapled securities for A$4.48 each.
The deal has to be approved by at least half of Australand's
shareholders and Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board.
Australand directors have unanimously recommended FCL's
FCL was spun off from F&N and listed in Singapore in January
and this month a hospitality trust backed by Charoen's real
estate units is raising nearly $300 million in a Singapore
initial public offering.
The Singapore firm is 59 percent owned by Charoen's
investment company TCC Assets Ltd and 29 percent owned by his
Thai Beverage PCL.
Deutsche Bank and Standard Chartered Bank
are the financial advisers to FCL.
Australand was being advised by Fort Street Advisers,
Macquarie Capital and King & Wood Mallesons.
($1 = 1.0581 Australian Dollars)
(Reporting by Saeed Azhar; Editing by Miral Fahmy)