A view of the media and real estate company Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) office in Singapore

Singapore Press says shareholders approve acquisition by Cuscaden Peak

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) said on Tuesday its shareholders had approved acquisition by Cuscaden Peak, after it announced it was terminating rival bidder Keppel Corp’s offer.

Both Cuscaden Peak and Keppel Corp are linked to state investor Temasek, and the deal had sparked a rare bidding war between the two groups, with the former offering S$2.40 per share, or S$3.9 billion ($2.87 billion), and the latter offering S$2.351 per share or S$3.74 billion for SPH’s real estate business.

Keppel Corp, which counts Temasek Holdings as a major shareholder, has previously said it did not agree with SPH’s move to terminate its offer. The conglomerate has filed an arbitration notice with the Singapore International Arbitration Centre.

Cuscaden Peak, a consortium of property tycoon Ong Beng Seng’s Hotel Properties and two independently managed portfolio companies of Temasek, clinched the acquisition, SPH said in a statement. It will gain access to SPH’s real estate portfolio, which includes malls, residential properties, student accommodation and nursing homes, but not its loss-making media business, which was separated from the company last year.

A Singapore court is expected to approve the Cuscaden takeover around April 5, and shareholders can expect to start receiving payments from May 11, SPH said.

SPH has also been granted permission by the Singapore Exchange to skip announcing its financial results in the first half of this year, subject to shareholder approval.

($1 = 1.3578 Singapore dollars)

(Reporting by Chen Lin in Singapore; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor)