SINGAPORE (Sept 10): Isetan Singapore confirmed that it has received an expression of interest (EOI) from the manager of Starhill Global REIT to acquire the company’s stake in Wisma Atria.

Isetan currently owns 26% in Wisma Atria’s total share value of strata lots, with the remaining owned by Starhill Global.

Isetan called for a trading halt at 1.22pm on Tuesday after its share price surged as much as 19.2% to $5.70 before settling at a multi-year high of $5.24 – some 46 cents higher than its Monday's closing price of $4.78.

The price surge followed local media reports Starhill Global is poised to Isetan’s share of the prime leasehold property for more than $290 million.

In a regulatory filing on Tuesday night, Isetan said it is currently reviewing the contents of the EOI and evaluating whether the proposal is in line with the its long-term strategy.

However, the company stressed that no definitive decision or agreement has been entered into.

In a separate filing on Tuesday night, YTL Starhill Global REIT Management, the manager of Starhill Global REIT also confirmed it has submitted a non-binding expression of interest to Isetan on the potential acquisition.

"This has been an ongoing process and is part of the manager’s continuing engagement with Isetan and our regular process of evaluating various prime assets for the purpose of expanding Starhill Global REIT’s portfolio," says YTL Starhill Global REIT Management, before adding no definitive agreement has been entered into.

Units in Starhill Global REIT closed 1 cent lower at 75.5 cents on Tuesday.