AREIT, ACEN boards greenlight P6.8-B property-for-share swap transaction

Ayala-led real estate investment trust company AREIT, Inc. announced on Friday that its board of directors has approved a move to acquire 276 hectares of industrial land in Zambales from Buendia Christiana Holdings Corp. (BCHC), a wholly owned subsidiary of ACEN Corp., through an asset-for-share swap transaction.

“The transaction was approved by the board of directors of AREIT and ACEN on 16 November 2023 and is subject to the approval of AREIT shareholders and relevant regulatory bodies thereafter,” AREIT said in a disclosure to the stock exchange.

ACEN made a separate disclosure announcing its board’s approval of the proposed property-for-share swap between BCHC and AREIT.

AREIT said it will issue 199,109,438 primary common shares to BCHC in exchange for the land valued at P6.77 billion.

“This acquisition solidifies AREIT’s footing as the Philippines’ largest and most diversified Real Estate Investment Trust, now at 861 thousand sqm of building gross leasable area,” the company noted.

“After the acquisition, AREIT will own 286 hectares of industrial land, which includes 9.8 hectares currently owned in Laguna Technopark. This will increase AREIT’s Assets Under Management from P87 billion to P94 billion,” it added.

Following the issuance of the shares, Giga Ace 8, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of ACEN involved in solar plant development and operation, will enter into a 25-year lease agreement with AREIT, the listed company said.

AREIT also said that the land addition will complement its sustainability objectives, with 18 properties already having shifted from coal to clean renewable energy.

AREIT and Ayala Land, Inc. signed an agreement with the International Finance Corp. in September to certify 150 hectares of office buildings for EDGE Zero Carbon. It aims to establish the largest EDGE Zero Carbon portfolio in the country.

AREIT also secured a green light from the Securities and Exchange Commission in September for the property-for-share swap with Ayala Land, Ayalaland Malls, Inc., and Northbeacon Commercial Corp.

On Friday, AREIT shares closed 0.31% higher at P32 apiece, while ACEN shares closed 1.80% lower at P4.90 apiece. — Miguel Hanz L. Antivola

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