Keppel Corp to buy Singapore Press Holdings for $1.7 billion

Reuters/Singapore City
Filed on August 2, 2021

The Singaporean conglomerate's deal excludes the newspaper publisher's media business.

Singaporean conglomerate Keppel Corp said on Monday it would buy Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) for S$2.24 billion ($1.65 billion), excluding the newspaper publisher's media business.

The deal will give Keppel access to SPH's real estate footprint, which includes malls, residential properties, a portfolio of properties for student accommodation as well as nursing homes.

Keppel said it would offer a combination of cash and units in Keppel REIT to shareholders of the Singapore Straits Times publisher for a total implied value of S$2.099 per share, representing an 11.6% premium to the stock's last close on Friday.

"(The deal) will complement Keppel Land's plans to move beyond a developer model to providing urban development solutions," the conglomerate said in a statement, adding that it would accelerate Keppel's expansion into the student accommodation and senior living sectors.

The deal will be accretive to Keppel's earnings on a pro forma basis and boost its assets under management and recurring income, said Loh Chin Hua, Keppel's chief executive officer.

SPH, which publishes the city-state's main newspaper, said in May it would transfer its media business to a not-for-profit company as the unit struggles with falling advertising revenue and losses.

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