November 15, 2019 / 6:56 AM / 23 days ago

Property firm SBB launches $2.4 bln bid for rival Hemfosa

STOCKHOLM, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Nordic property firm SBB launched a 23.5 billion crown ($2.42 billion) cash and shares bid for rival Hemfosa on Friday saying the deal would lead to significant synergies and a higher credit rating for the combined group.

The offer values each Hemfosa share at 126.15 crowns - a premium of 22.7% to the closing price on Thursday - and each Hemfosa preference share at 194.63 crowns and was recommended by Hemfosa’s board.

The combination of the two companies would create the biggest owner of social infrastructure properties - such as schools, elderly care homes and municipal offices - in the Nordic region.

“In aggregate, SBB believes that the combination of the businesses will realise synergies of circa SEK 300 million per annum run-rate after tax,” the company said.

SBB said it would issue around 1.5 billion crowns in new shares as part of its acquisition plan.

If the purchase is completed, SBB will focus on reducing debt after the acquisition through a disposal programme.

“SBB is highly committed to achieving a BBB+ rating in the next 12 months and material acquisitions will only be considered within the bounds of this,” the company said. ($1 = 9.7061 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Simon Johnson; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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