Keppel sticks to final $2.8 billion bid for Singapore Press despite superior offer

(Reuters) – Keppel Corp maintained on Tuesday its revised offer of S$2.351 per share to buy Singapore Press Holdings, excluding its media business, a day after Cuscaden Peak swooped in with a superior bid for the media and real estate firm.

Cuscaden Peak – a consortium of billionaire property tycoon Ong Beng Seng’s Hotel Properties and two independently managed portfolio companies of Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings – hiked its cash-plus-stock offer on Monday by around 14% to S$2.40 per share.

The hike in Cuscaden Peak’s offer came on the heels of a sweetened “final” bid by conglomerate Keppel last week that valued Singapore Press at $2.8 billion.

“We will continue to maintain price discipline, and will not go beyond the proposed acquisition’s intrinsic value to Keppel,” the conglomerate said in a statement on Tuesday.

“We believe that Keppel’s final offer is a compelling one and a win-win proposition.”

Both groups are battling for Singapore Press’ global portfolio of property assets, student accommodation and elderly care homes.

(Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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