Singapore REIT Mapletree Commercial Trust adds cash-only option to $3 bln merger

A Mapletree logo is pictured in its office in Singapore March 4, 2013. REUTERS/Edgar Su

March 21 (Reuters) - Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust's (MAPE.SI) unitholders will now have an option to receive consideration in cash from a proposed S$4.2 billion ($3.10 billion) merger with Mapletree Commercial Trust (MACT.SI), the Temasek-linked Singapore real estate investment trusts said on Monday.

Mapletree Commercial Trust (MCT) had announced plans in December to buy Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust (MNACT), seeking to create the seventh largest real estate investment trust (REIT) in Asia with an expected market value of about S$10.5 billion.

The two REITs said in a joint statement on Monday that MNACT unitholders would now have the option to choose consideration in cash, in addition to the prior offer for MCT units or a combination of both cash and MCT units.

The value of the merger remained unchanged at S$1.1949 per MNACT unit, they said. However, the inclusion of the cash option will result in an additional cash requirement of up to S$2.2 billion, which will be funded through a preferential offering to MCT unitholders at an issue price of S$2.0039 per MCT Unit.

Last month, Reuters had reported that activist investor Quarz Capital Management was opposed to the terms of the proposed merger, saying MNACT was significantly undervalued. read more

Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd, the global real estate conglomerate owned by Singapore state investor Temasek, is the single largest unitholder in both the trusts, owning 32.6% of MCT and 38.1% of MNACT, as of Dec. 29.

($1 = 1.3553 Singapore dollars)

Reporting by Indranil Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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