SINGAPORE (Apr 2): Singapore could soon see the listing of its very first US hospitality pure-play real estate investment trust (REIT).

Eagle Hospitality Trust is preparing to lodge its prospectus with the Singapore Exchange (SGX), according to FinanceAsia.

Pre-marketing for the listing, valued at US$550 million ($745 million), including greenshoe option, has recently been completed.

The REIT’s hospitality portfolio is valued at US$1.27 billion and comprises 20 hotels under the Marriot, Hilton and InterContinental brands.

Lead manager DBS has assigned the group a fair value of US$750 million to US$800 million. This is based on a range of 0.9 to 1.0 times price to 2019 book.

The REIT is projecting a fair value dividend yield 7% to 7.5% for 2019 and 7.3% to 7.9% for 2020.

Eagle Hospitality Trust hopes to ride on Singapore REIT sector’s outperformance. Year to date, the FTSE ST REIT Index is up 10.8%, compared with a 4.7% rise in the Straits Times Index (STI).

The REIT was listed on the New York Stock Exchange until early 2007 when it was take private at the peak of the subprime debt bubble.

However the portfolio of 13 hotels --mainly Marriot and Hilton -- skirted foreclosure before ending up in the hands of one of their creditors, Blackstone, according to FinanceAsia.

The private equity group then sold most of them on to current Los Angeles-based owner Urban Commons which has spent the past few years adding to the hospitality portfolio it is now listing.

In its pre-marketing materials, Eagle Hospitality is projecting a 8% uptick in RevPar in 2019 followed by a 2.0% rise in 2020. This will be achieved through US$189 million of Asset Enhancement Initiatives (AEIs) spent on its 5.420 hotel rooms.

The group’s overall projection of 4.15% distribution growth for 2019 should also be supported by its acquisition of a further six hotels.

Current gearing stands at 36% of which 75% of debt is fixed, with an average cost of 4.2%.

The successful listing of Eagle Hospitality Trust would bring the number of Singapore-listed US Reits to three including Manulife US REIT and Keppel-KBS REIT.

Joint bookrunners for the IPO are Bank of America Merrill Lynch, DBS and UBS.