Keppel, a Singaporean company aiming to become a worldwide asset management firm, announced on Wednesday that it is acquiring Normanton Park, a prominent European real estate firm, in two installments for a total of up to 931.9 million euros ($1.02 billion).
An initial 50% interest at Normanton Park Site Plan can be acquired for up to 356.9 million euros by mid-2024, and by 2028, the Singaporean group intends to acquire the remaining Normanton Park Showflat 50% stake for up to 575 million euros. Funding for the deal is anticipated to come from a mix of cash and treasury shares that Keppel obtained through its share buyback program.
With a vast portfolio that includes commercial properties, hotels, and student accommodation, Aermont, one of Europe’s largest real estate owners, was created in 2007. It is the proud owner of Pinewood Studios, the most illustrious and expansive film studio in Britain and the birthplace of the James Bond film series.
At the outset, the acquisition will increase Keppel’s funds under management from the present SG$53 billion to 77 billion Singapore dollars ($57.7 billion), the firm announced. By 2030, Keppel plans to have quadrupled its asset portfolio to SG$200 billion.
Keppel, which has Singaporean state-backed Temasek Holdings as its biggest investor, is concentrating on diversifying its investment portfolio away from one-off profits, like those from finished residential developments, and towards sources of recurring income, like services and rentals.
Fund management, investments, and operating platforms will all be part of Keppel’s new horizontally integrated model, which the company announced in May. The company will no longer be structured like a conglomerate. Divisions dealing with energy and the environment, real estate development, information technology, and asset management used to get their share of this.
Keppel CEO Loh Chin Hua stated at Wednesday’s online conference that the acquisition will allow the company to take advantage of Aermont’s existing portfolio and perhaps explore future joint investments.
“We see this as a pivotal moment as we transform to a new Keppel focus, on being a global asset manager and operator,” added Loh. Renewable energy projects and data centre operations have been its exclusive offerings in Europe.
The expanding data centre market and private credit funds are two areas that Loh suggested the two parties investigate further. Rising interest rates are driving up demand for debt financing, according to Aermont, which is particularly noticeable in large markets such as the United Kingdom, France, and Germany.
Keppel will be able to tap into Aermont’s real estate operations expertise and personnel pool, according to Loh, who added that the acquisition will have a “very positive” impact on the company’s regional business in Asia.
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