Media group Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) will be putting its retail malls, including the upmarket Paragon, into a billion-dollar real estate investment trust (Reit) here in what has been a keenly awaited listing.
Having received listing eligibility approval from the Singapore Exchange, the initial public offering (IPO) of SPH Reit could take place as soon as early July.
SPH Reit will be among the largest retail Reits listed here by asset value, said the media group. Other retail Reits include CapitaMall Trust which owns Tampines Mall and Junction 8.
SPH chief executive Alan Chan said the listing will benefit the group in various ways, including giving it funds to pursue growth opportunities and reducing debt.
He said at a media briefing: "This new business... will unlock and release capital from our retail properties back to the SPH Group, to allow us to explore new growth strategies across our investment property, media and other businesses."
SPH Reit is being set up to invest in a portfolio of income-producing real estate used mainly for retail purposes in Asia-Pacific as well as real estate-related assets.
Mr Chan noted that the Reit serves as an efficient platform for holding future investment properties. SPH will also be able to earn recurrent management fees.
It plans to declare a special dividend of 18 cents a share, once the IPO is completed.