Intl magazine lauds SM property merger

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International financial magazine Alpha Southeast Asia has lauded the Henry Sy-led SM Investments Corp. (SMIC) for merging all its property assets to create one real estate giant, giving the listed conglomerate the Most Innovative Deal Award.

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The award received by SM follows a weeklong intensive review of over 56 bank submissions covering over 200 deals or solutions from brokerages, commercial and investment banks, and relevant institutions throughout the Southeast Asian region.

It also forms part of the magazine’s 7th Annual Best Deal and Solution Awards for 2013. The awarding ceremony will be held on January 23, 2014, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Siddiq Bazarwala, publisher of Alpha Southeast Asia magazine, said that in line with the SM Group’s vision to create a leading and integrated real estate company in Asia, the company embarked on a highly transformational transaction to consolidate all of its real estate interests under its SMIC subsidiary and the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE)-listed SM Prime Holdings Inc. in May 2013.

Plans for the consolidation of SMIC’s property-related businesses under SM Prime were first announced on May 31 of this year, involving a series of steps which included tender offers leading to the delisting of SM Development Corp. and Highlands Prime Inc.; the merger of SM Land Inc. with SM Prime through a share-for-share swap; and the acquisition by SM Prime of certain real estate companies and assets held by SM Investments in exchange for new
shares in SM Prime.

These transactions were subsequently approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Bazarwala said that the domestic merger has helped SMIC increase synergies and organizational efficiencies among its various real estate business units.

“While a number of domestic M&A [merger and acquisition]deals took place across the Southeast Asian region in 2013, this strategic consolidation will go a long way in strengthening SM Prime’s balance sheet for accelerated growth, which will in turn help the company transform into a world-class regional real estate giant in years to come, and make it a true leader across various real estate asset classes unlike another,” Bazarwala said.

SM Prime is now emerging as one of the Southeast Asia’s leading real estate companies with an aggregate land bank of more than 825 hectares and total assets of $7.5 billion as of September 30, 2013.

Alpha Southeast Asia is a monthly financial magazine headquartered in Hong Kong with bureaus and correspondents in Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Singapore and Bangkok.

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