Singapore-listed stapled security Ascendas Hospitality Trust (A-HTrust) (SGX:Q1P) announced on 24 September that it has entered into discussions with a “number of parties” with regards to a potential divestment of its stake in a property in Australia, Pullman Cairns International.

The property in question is a 17-storey hotel with 321 guest rooms located about 8 km away from the Cairns International and Domestic Airport. The property is currently valued at AUD65 million, of which A-HTrust holds a 50% stake.

A-HTrust stopped short of revealing who the parties are or for how much it is considering to divest the property for. “This is part of A-HTRUST’s active asset management strategy under which the managers would consider whether assets are ready for divestment to free up or recycle capital for more productive use”, said the trust in an official statement.

Besides Pullman Cairns International, A-HTrust has a portfolio of six other properties in Australia.

In July 2014, A-HTrust said that it has identified the property as one of which it considering for upgrades. “Pullman and Mercure Brisbane King George Square and Pullman Cairns International are of the six selected hotels to host the delegates of the (G20) summit” said A-HTrust in a presentation durin the month, adding that it anticipates “increase of business activities at these destinations”.

However A-HTrust emphasised that it is premature to speculate on whether the divestment will go through. “The managers wish to advise stapled security holders that such discussions are preliminary and non-binding in nature and there is no assurance that any definitive or binding agreements or any transaction will result from such discussions”, it said.

“Further announcements will be issued by the managers in the event that there are any further material developments regarding the above subject matter”, A-HTrut added.

Units of A-HTrust slipped by 0.7% at the end of the trading day to close at SGD0.715 on the Singapore Exchange . A-HTrust listed in July 2012 at SGD0.88.

Ascendas Hospitality Trust may divest its stake in Australian hotel Pullman Cairns (Photo: Pullman Cairns)
Ascendas Hospitality Trust may divest its stake in Australian hotel Pullman Cairns (Photo: Pullman Cairns)

By Ridzwan Rahmat

Ridzwan has been analysing REITs and business trusts since 2008, and personally manages a portfolio comprising mainly of SGX-listed REITs. He founded REITsWeek in 2013.