Alexander & Baldwin Inc. said today its board of directors has approved a plan to split the company into two separate companies, one focusing on real estate and agriculture and the other on shipping.
The two companies would be independent and publicly traded, the company said in a news release.
Under the plan, A&B shareholders will own one share of both A&B and Matson stock for each share of company stock owned. The separation is expected to be completed in the second half of 2012.
The announcement was made after the market closed. A&B’s shares rose $1.50 to $39.56 in after hours trading.
“Over the past decade, Alexander & Baldwin’s board of directors and management have periodically conducted strategic reviews, including an evaluation of the merits of separating into two companies,” said Walter Dods, A&B’s chairman. “After thorough evaluation, we have concluded that the increased size, capabilities and financial strength of both our land and transportation businesses now enable these operations to independently execute their strategies to maximize shareholder value.”
Honolulu-based A&B has grown substantially over the past decade. Its commercial real estate portfolio has increased by almost 50 percent to its present size of 7.9 million square feet, comprising 44 properties in Hawaii and eight mainland states. The portfolio of commercial properties generates a significant and stable source of cash flow for the company, and is an important source of capital for A&B’s real estate investment and development activity.