Growthpoint wins GPT Metro takeover bid
Growthpoint Properties Australia is set to take control of the GPT Metro Office Fund after its takeover bid won a positive recommendation from the fund’s independent board committee, and rival bidder Centuria Capital walked away.
The UBS-advised board, which had sparked a fierce contest between Growthpoint and Centuria since early April, recommended the Growthpoint offer on Monday.
“The IBC (independent board committee) has carefully considered the Growthpoint offer and the Centuria offer, and has determined that the Growthpoint offer is superior,” GPT Metro says, in a stance foreshadowed by DataRoom.
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“Accordingly, the IBC recommends that GMF unitholders accept the Growthpoint offer, in the absence of a superior proposal.”
Centuria, with a 16.1% stake, says it will not proceed with its current offer for GPT Metro, noting “it would be unreasonable” to expect that to go ahead. The company will consider options for its GPT Metro stake.
The Growthpoint offer, valued at $2.50 per unit cash or $2.56 per unit with the cash and script combination at the end of last week, was endorsed by independent expert Grant Samuel & Associates as “fair and reasonable”.
The IBC has carefully considered the Growthpoint offer and the Centuria offer, and has determined that the Growthpoint offer is superior
“We think it’s a very good bid to the GMF unitholders,” Growthpoint managing director Tim Collyer told The Australian.
“We would expect from this point, with this recommendation there and with the independent experts’ report, we would expect people to really speed up the acceptance.”
Growthpoint also upped its holding in GPT Metro to 16.5%, as unitholders accepted its offer. However, the South African-backed group is looking for fresh buyers for its near-$150 million industrial property portfolio, with a deal assembled with Investec Bank fading as Sentinel Property Group reconsiders its plans to buy a Woolworths distribution centre in Albury-Wodonga.
If successful with the takeover bid, Growthpoint will be able to integrate GPT Metro’s portfolio of six A-Grade offices into its own umbrella, boosting its property value by nearly $500 million.
“If ultimately we can get 100% of the units, we will delist the GMF fund from the stock exchange, it will just become a subsidiary of Growthpoint and form part of our portfolio,” Collyer says.
“If we don’t get enough ownership, we will manage it on the stock exchange as a separately listed fund and look to merge that fund sometime down the track.”
This article originally appeared on www.theaustralian.com.au/property.