ESR extends $723m Propertylink takeover offer deadline

ESR Australia chief executive Philip Pearce. Picture: James Croucher

Asian logistics property giant ESR has declared its $723 million takeover offer for the listed Propertylink its best and final price in the absence of a superior proposal and extended it until the end of February.

The takeover, which would help ESR bulk up its Philip Pearce-led local operation, will also become unconditional if the Asian group can win over at least 50.1 per cent of the Propertylink register.

But a 19% stake owned by rival funds manager Centuria Capital has emerged as the key to the deal. Centuria owns 19.5 per cent of Propertylink and has still not accepted the offer.

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The group, which manages a near $5 billion property empire, also has ESR on its register, prompting suggestions that it would seek assurances from the Asian group that it would not also seek to move on it.

But the ESR camp has insisted that there is no understanding or agreement between ESR and Centuria about the Asian group’s holding in Centuria.

Instead, ESR is promoting its offer for Propertylink as offering certainty for all investors. If Centuria accept into the offer, it also stands to make a lucrative return of about 19% after spending about $122 million on its stake.

If Centuria exits Propertylink it will also release a significant amount of capital that could be used for other investments, although the John McBain-led company is yet to reveal its hand.

But it will have the flexibility to accept and has also recommended to its shareholders to approve resolutions at an upcoming meeting to enable Centuria to divest its Propertylink stake.

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