GLP announces proposed sale to Chinese consortium

The investor consortium led by GLP's chief executive Ming Mei has been announced as the preferred bidder after making a bid that represents an 81% premium to the yearly average share price.  

Global Logistic Properties (GLP), one of the largest logistics operators in the world, has agreed to be acquired by a consortium of investors that includes its chief executive Ming Mei at a cash consideration of S$3.38 ($2.46; €2.15) per GLP share.  One of the biggest private equity deals in Asia, the transactionn values GLP at approximately S$16 billion on an equity value basis. 

In a stock exchange announcement made today, GLP said that Nesta Investment Holdings – the company comprising Hopu Investment Management, Hillhouse Capital, SMG, which is owned by Mei, Bank of China Group Investment and the Vanke Group – has been selected as the preferred bidder. The offer price is understood to represent a 81 percent premium over a 12-month volume weighted average price (VWAP), according to GLP.

The proposed privatisation is subject to the requisite approval of GLP shareholders. The transaction is expected to close before April next year.

The Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC, the single largest shareholder of GLP with a 36.84 percent stake, has officially announced that it has already given an undertaking that it would be voting in favor of the deal, in a separate statement. Bank of America Merrill Lynch acted as the financial adviser to GIC for this transaction.

Once officially completed, GLP’s takeover would see Nesta Investment Holdings take ownership of 55 million square meters of logistics space across China, Japan, US and Brazil. In addition, it would also gain control of GLP’s massive fund management platform that has $39 billion in assets under management.

GLP’s sale marks an end to a controversial auction process that saw some bidders reportedly raise concerns about Mei’s group getting an unfair advantage and other conflict of interest issues. GLP has maintained that the strategic review process was undertaken independently.

“After an extensive evaluation of all firm proposals received on 30 June 2017, the independent Special Committee is of the view that the proposed Scheme is superior and value-enhancing for all shareholders,” said the statement published today by GLP.

“The proposed Scheme is considered superior due to its price certainty at significant premiums to historical prices; greater degree of deal certainty due to the limited conditionality of the bid; and would likely be completed within a defined timeframe which would reduce execution risk.”

PERE understands that e-Shang Redwood (ESR) was the other bidder to make it to the final round.