Centuria Reignites Trans-Tasman Takeover Bid for Augusta


ASX-listed Centuria Capital Group has reignited its bid to take over NZX-listed Augusta Capital Limited with an offer worth $122 million (NZ$130 million).

The trans-Tasman takeover would see Centuria grow its asset under management by 24 per cent to $8.9 billion.

Centuria made the move on all remaining Augusta shares after acquiring 23.3 per cent of shares in June at NZ$0.55 through the NZX-listed company’s equity raising.

The bid was significantly lower than their $175 million offer at NZ$2.00 per share in January which was withdrawn due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new implied offer price of NZ$1.00 per remaining security represented a 46.0 per cent premium to the closing price of Augusta shares on Friday 12 June 2020 of NZ$0.69.

The merger if successful would see Australian property management fund increase in size again after acquiring 63 per cent Healthy Limited last year to add Centuria Healthy to its real estate investment trusts Centuria Office REIT and Centuria Industrial REIT.

Augusta manages more than NZ$1.83 billion of real estate across both countries and in October 2019 signed a contract for a billion-dollar mixed-use development in Queenstown in partnership with Australian developer Ninety Four Feet

Related: Centuria Snaps Up Arnott’s Biscuit Factories for $633m

Centuria joint chief executives Jason Huljich and John McBain said this was a good opportunity to expand with a well-run, professional and aggressively growing business

“It has been a long-term, strategic journey to enter the New Zealand commercial real estate market and it’s taken Centuria about 10 years to finally find the right entity,” they said in a joint statement.

“Now, there is an opportunity to fully come together and optimise operations throughout New Zealand. With our capital backing and the Augusta team’s expertise, we’ll be well-placed to take advantage of opportunities as Covid-19 unwinds.”

The proposed takeover bid is supported by Augusta’s founding shareholders Mark Francis and Bryce Barnett together with Centuria’s shareholding, Francis, Barnett and other Augusta shareholders represent 42.2 per cent of Augusta’s total shares.

The takeover was subject to Augusta shareholders accepting the offer for at least 90 per cent of Augusta’s shares and has been pre-approved by the NZ Overseas Investment Office.

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