The Australian: major Aveo shareholder Mulpha likely to buy out the village operator

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“Expectations are rising that Aveo will end up in the hands of its 22.7 per cent shareholder, Malaysian infrastructure and real estate investor Mulpha International, with JPMorgan hired to explore options for the $1.3 billion company,” its Dataroom section reports.

Last week Aveo appointed Merrill Lynch Markets as its financial advisor as part of a strategic review of its retirement portfolio and operations – including the potential to bring capital partners into the business.

Aveo had earlier this month asked five investment banks to put forward ideas. Merrill Lynch has already advised Dutch company APG Asset Management on its purchase of a 25% stake in Lendlease last year.

Chairman Seng Huang Lee, also Executive Chairman of Mulpha says the group believes its current security price doesn’t reflect the underlying value of its retirement business.

Aveo shares are currently sitting at $2.36, 44% lower than its net tangible assets.

Should the Malaysian investor hold 100% of Aveo, it could then attract institutional funds to invest – at closer to full value.