An Australian funds manager wants to fully take over New Zealand commercial property investor, Augusta Capital.
It’s the second time Centuria Capital has made an offer for Augusta Capital but the second offer is half the price of the first.
The first at $2 a share was made in January and then withdrawn in late March following the Covid-19 lockdown and disruption.
Augusta Capital said this offer was for an “implied” $1 a share, made up of NZ20c and 0.392 Centuria Stapled Securities per Augusta Share. It advised shareholders to wait for guidance from the company and for an independent adviser’s report.
Centuria NZ, a subsidiary of Centuria Capital, already holds a 23.3 per cent stake in Augusta Capital through a recent equity raising for Augusta.
It has lock-up agreements with key Augusta shareholders including managing director Mark Francis. The lock-up agreements take its stake to just over 42 per cent.
It said it had the full support of Augusta’ Capital’s founding shareholders, managing director Mark Francis and fellow founder Bryce Barnett.
Augusta Capital manages $1.83 billion of commercial property in New Zealand and Australia.
Its shares rose 34 per cent to 92 cents on Monday, June 15, from 68.5c on Friday following the takeover notice.
Outlining its reasons, Centuria said it would give Augusta shareholders access to ”a much larger, high quality and highly complementary Trans-Tasman real estate platform”.
”The merged entity would manage assets of $A8.9 billion and Centuria wishes to expand Augusta’s operations in New Zealand in cooperation with the existing management team through the sharing of systems, resources and the deployment of additional capital.”
Both Centuria’s joint chief executives were New Zealanders currently living in Australia, and firm supporters of Augusta’s management team, it said.
A larger group was better placed to weather the current Covid-19 situation ”and to take advantage of new opportunities as the pandemic unwinds in Australasia”.
Augusta Capital said if Centuria went ahead with an offer it had to do that between the period starting 14 days from June 15 and ending 30 days from June 15.
The board of Augusta would be meeting on June 15 to discuss the takeover notice with the intention to convene a board committee to oversee Augusta’s response.
“The Board committee will appoint an independent adviser to report on the merits of the offer and recommends that Augusta shareholders take no action at this time in relation to the proposed offer until shareholders receive further guidance, including the independent adviser’s report,” the company said.
“If an offer is made, Augusta will prepare a target company statement which will be released to the NZX and shareholders, together with the independent adviser’s report required under the Takeovers Code.”
This article first appeared on Stuff.co.nz. Read the original story here.
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