Singapore warehouse operator and real estate fund manager Global Logistic Properties (GLP) has emerged as the cynosure of a three-way takeover bid that could materialize into the biggest Asian buyout, Bloomberg has reported.
Private equity firms Blackstone Group LP and Warburg Pincus, as well as a Chinese investment group are in the fray for the Singapore warehouse operator, the report said. The suitors have placed a February deadline for snapping up GLP in a deal worth around US$11.3 billion (S$16.1 billion).
GLP owns and manages a global portfolio of 53 million square meters, with dominant market positions in China, Japan, US and Brazil.
Bloomberg had reported in November that an investor group that includes sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp (CIC) raised interest to take over GLP. However, GLP said it was not in discussions with any group. Since that time, Singapore mainboard-listed GLP's shares soared 46 percent.
The buyout of GLP will help the acquirer dip into a boom in demand for warehouse space with the rise of e-commerce companies like Alibaba Group. "The GLP platform has a global reach ... It's a scarce asset that's very difficult to build from scratch," Justin Tang, director at Religare Capital Markets in Singapore told Bloomberg.
However, a deal to purchase GLP will materialize only if Singapore's state investment firm GIC, which holds 37 percent in the warehouse company, approves it.
GLP, one of the world's largest real estate fund managers with assets under management of US$39 billion, said in November it recorded a 52 percent rise in second quarter net profits, driven by rising incomes from development projects in China and continued expansion of fund management platform.
Net profit for the three months ended 30 September 2016 rose to US$173 million from US$114 million a year ago, the logistics service provider said. GLP said its lease ratio in China was 87 percent and it expects China operations to remain stable in the near term. The mid to long term outlook for China remains positive, supported by strong secular drivers such as e-commerce and organized retail, it said. Meanwhile, the lease ratios in Japan and US remained high at 98 percent and 94 percent respectively.