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AIMS intends to acquire full control of Singapore’s AA REIT manager
Will continue strategy with the goal of further long term value creation

Singapore and Sydney 22 November 2018:

AIMS Financial Services Group Pty Limited and its affiliates (“AIMS”), along with their long time joint venture partner, AMP Capital Investors Limited (“AMP Capital”), are pleased to announce today that an agreement was reached under which AIMS will acquire:
  • AMP Capital’s 50% shareholding in the management entities of AIMS AMP Capital Industrial REIT (“AA REIT”), making AIMS the 100% owner of the management business; and
  • AMP Capital’s principal 10.26% stake in the Singapore listed AA REIT, making AIMS’ overall holding 17.88%.
The agreement is subject to conditions and is expected to complete in December 2018 or a later agreed date.

AIMS Chairman and CEO and Chairman of AA REIT’s manager, George Wang, hailed the move as a clear sign of AIMS’ capabilities and value creation abilities, while bringing certainty and stability to the REIT.

George Wang said, “This is an example of AIMS’ ability to manage real estate assets for the long term benefit of unitholders.  When we first became involved in early 2009 the market cap of this REIT was just over 60 million Singapore dollars.  Now it is around $900 million, demonstrating AIMS’ ability to prudently manage real estate assets and achieve portfolio growth.”

“Nine years ago we set out to rebuild value in this REIT and this has been achieved through our successful partnership with AMP Capital.  Apart from the stellar increase in market cap, AA REIT’s portfolio has trebled in size.”

George Wang (Chairman of AIMS Financial Group) and Carmel Hourigan (Global Head of Real Estate of AMP Capital) signing the agreement

“AIMS’ commitment and belief in the future of AA REIT is underlined by our agreement to purchase AMP Capital’s 10.26% stake, to take AIMS’ ownership to 17.88%, as well as their half management share.”

“We will continue to prudently manage the AA REIT portfolio through the cycles with the goal of building long term value for all unitholders.”

George Wang added that the turnaround and value creation in Singapore was relevant to unitholders in another former MacarthurCook turnaround story by AIMS Financial Group, ASX listed AIMS Property Securities Fund (APW) and other unlisted MacarthurCook funds.

“AIMS will continue to manage these and other real estate assets through the cycles, with the aim of delivering long term value growth for all investors.”

The Manager’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Koh Wee Lih commented, “The consolidation of interest within AIMS Financial Group is a significant development for AA REIT that provides continuity in the independent management of AA REIT’s assets.  Over the past decade, AA REIT has grown from AUM of approximately S$544 million to a fund with S$1.5 billion worth of assets across a diversified portfolio of 26 high-performing properties in Singapore and Australia. We remain committed to our strategy to build a higher quality and resilient portfolio and will continue to maintain our focus on prudent capital management and disciplined investment.”

AMP Capital Global Head of Real Estate Carmel Hourigan said the transaction was beneficial for all parties involved.

“We are pleased to enter into this agreement with our long-standing partner, AIMS Financial Group, who will become the sole owner of the management platform and provide AA REIT with long-term certainty and continued management oversight.”

“AIMS AMP Capital Industrial REIT has delivered strong returns for unitholders over the last nine years, including AMP Capital, and we believe that AA REIT will continue to deliver for unitholders under the stewardship of AIMS moving forward.”

In July 2009, AIMS Financial Group acquired MacarthurCook Limited, the parent company of MacarthurCook Industrial REIT (“MI-REIT”, predecessor of AA REIT) and thus gaining control of the Manager of MI-REIT. At that time, MI-REIT was facing financial challenges and had a depressed market capitalisation of approximately S$60 million with assets under management (“AUM”) at around S$544 million.  Following the acquisition by AIMS Financial Group, a recapitalisation exercise took place with MI-REIT raising equity to repay and refinance debt facilities, as well as fund the acquisition of four properties from AMP Capital, thus resulting in a turnaround for the REIT. Thanks to these efforts, MI-REIT’s market capitalisation increased to S$315 million as at 31 March 2010 and it gained the support of AMP Capital, which entered into a joint venture with AIMS Financial Group as Sponsors of the REIT and rebranded MI-REIT as AA REIT.  Since then, AA REIT has steadily grown its AUM to close to S$1.5 billion through acquisitions, strategic asset enhancement and development projects.

Media release download link: AAREIT_Media_Release-Australia_26112018.pdf