Wheelock to buy Singapore developer Hotel Properties

The founder of Singapore's Hotel Properties, an owner and operator of hotels, is partnering a unit of Hong Kong real estate group Wheelock & Co. to buy out the hotel developer in a deal that values the company at approximately $1.4 billion. The Wall Street Journal reported that the bid was led by Hotel Properties managing director Ong Beng Seng and Wheelock Properties (Singapore) as the latest in a series of acquisitions this year by large shareholders seeking full control of Singapore-based property firms.

68 Holdings Pte., the consortium led by Ong and Wheelock Properties, controls 41.9 percent of Hotel Properties after agreeing to buy roughly 214 million shares at $2.80 each. The consortium is looking to pay the same amount to scoop up the remaining shares in Hotel Properties that it doesn't already own or has agreed to buy. The offer price represented a premium of as much as 12 percent to the stock's last traded price of $2.50 on Friday.

“The partnership between Ong Beng Seng and Wheelock will work out well,” Terence Wong, head of research at DMG & Partners Securities in Singapore, told Businessweek. “Hotel Properties has underperformed compared to their potential so this venture will help in co-development of properties.”

Ong is the majority owner of Cuscaden Partners, which in turn holds 60 percent of the venture making the bid, according to Businessweek. Wheelock’s Nassim Developments also owns a 40 percent stake in the joint venture.

Ong, Ban and Wheelock have been shareholders of Hotel Properties for a long time, and Reuters reported they have decided to consolidate their shareholding so they can "implement their shared objectives for HPL and to enhance value over time."

Hotel Properties owns and operates hotels, and has businesses in property development and investment holding. The company has a portfolio of 28 hotels and resorts spread across 13 countries.