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AREIT buys ACEN’s land for P6.7 B, declares record dividend

AREIT Inc., the real estate investment trust of Ayala Land Inc., is acquiring P6.77 billion worth of industrial assets from another member of the Ayala Group, ACEN Corporation, to bolster its portfolio further.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), AREIT said it is acquiring 276 hectares of industrial land located in Zambales from Buendia Christiana Holdings Corporation (BCHC), a wholly owned subsidiary of ACEN.

The transaction will be a property-for-share swap with AREIT issuing BCHC 199.11 million  AREIT primary common shares in exchange for the land valued at P6.77 billion, as validated by a third-party fairness opinion.

Upon issuance of AREIT shares in exchange for the land, Giga Ace 8, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of ACEN engaged in the business of developing and operating a solar plant, will lease the land from AREIT for 25 years at a guaranteed fixed rent escalating every year, and with the option to renew for another 25 years.

This acquisition solidifies AREIT’s footing as the Philippines’ largest and most diversified Real Estate Investment Trust, now at 861,000 square meters of building gross leasable area (GLA). 

After the acquisition, AREIT will own 286 hectares of industrial land, which includes 9.8 hectares currently owned in Laguna Technopark. This will increase AREIT’s Assets Under Management from P87 billion to P94 billion.

Aside from significant asset expansion, the addition of the Zambales land will complement AREIT’s sustainability objectives. Currently, AREIT has 18 properties that have shifted from coal to clean renewable energy, reducing its carbon emissions significantly. 

AREIT has diversified and balanced its prime portfolio to include malls, offices, hotels, and industrial land across 19 properties nationwide. 

Meanwhile, AREIT declared cash dividends of P0.55 per outstanding common share for the third quarter of 2023. The dividends are payable on Dec. 15, 2023, to shareholders on record as of Dec. 1, 2023. 

This dividend declaration represents a 96 percent increase from the company’s first quarterly payout of P0.28 per share in 2020.

AREIT has consistently delivered 15 quarterly dividends that have grown significantly by 34 percent from P1.32 per share in 2020 to P1.77 per share in 2021 and 12 percent to P1.98 per share in 2022. 

For the first three quarters this year, AREIT has declared P1.60 per share, a 10 percent increase versus the same period last year. 

The company’s dividends per share in the second quarter of P0.53 increased to P0.55 per share this third quarter, the highest dividend per share declared by AREIT.

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The article was originally published in Manila Bulletin and written by James A. Loyola.

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