January 29, 2018 / 5:00 AM / a year ago

Warburg Pincus-backed ESR-REIT in merger talks with Viva Industrial

SINGAPORE, Jan 29 (Reuters) - ESR-REIT and rival Viva Industrial Trust are in exclusive talks for a merger, which if completed, would mark the first consolidation among Singapore's crowded mid-cap industrial trusts.

ESR-REIT, which is backed by Asian logistics developer e-Shang Redwood (ESR) - a venture of private equity firm Warburg Pincus and large global funds, said on Monday that its manager had submitted a proposal to merge the real estate investment trust (REIT) with Viva.

"The objective is to create a sizeable and liquid industrial REIT with an Asian footprint well supported by a developer sponsor financially and across the real estate value chain," ESR-REIT said in a statement.

In a separate statement, Viva said it had received the merger proposal.

ESR-REIT is currently valued at S$747 million ($572 million)and Viva has a market value of S$907 million ($694 million). Trading in units of both companies was halted on Friday ahead of an announcement.

Both companies cautioned that there was no certainty of a deal. ($1 = 1.3070 Singapore dollars) (Reporting by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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