Central Pattana “studying” acquisition of Siam Future

Central Pattana (CPN), Thailand’s largest developer of retail property, confirmed Friday it is studying the feasibility of acquiring Siam Future Development (SF), a community mall developer, but further details have not been yet disclosed.

“The company is in the process of studying the additional information,” said CPN’s secretary Ampawee Chompoopongkasem through the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

“As of now, there is no clear agreement on such study.” she said.

CPN made the statement in response to local news reports that it is planning to purchase SF shares from its biggest shareholder, Major Cineplex Group (MAJOR) at an average price of 12 baht. MAJOR owns a 29.58-per-cent stake or 630.66 million shares of SF.

Reports have also said that CPN will then propose a tender offer for a remaining 70.42 per cent stake, which is expected to be finalized by mid-July.

The main target for the acquisition is the Mega Bangna Shopping Centre in which SF owns more than 47 per cent of retail spaces, yielding a 400- to 500-million-baht profit per year, according to the reports.

SF stated that it has not received any information about the process regarding selling shares of its major shareholder.

However, due to the worsening Covid-19 outbreak situation, analysts at Asia Plus Securities noted that SF’s shopping malls earnings in the second quarter will likely be softened even though the government has not imposed a full-lockdown order, including rental aid to support affected tenants.

“Concerns over the Covid infections should reduce the customer traffic and the rental aid programme will continue,” the analysts said.

Asia Plus has given SF a ‘sell’ rating in light of the impact of the current outbreak and because the share price has already increased more than 40 per cent year-to-date, to considerably more than the target of 5.70 baht. SF stock stood at 10.80 baht, down 1.82 per cent, as of Friday morning.

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