Stockland tipped to add sugar to takeover offer

Speculation is mounting that Stockland Group will sweeten its $2.4 billion offer for Australand Property Group with a cash payout following the target company’s rejection.

Australand had confirmed the sector’s worst kept secret – that Stockland had made a tilt for the property developer – while asserting it was not interested in the low-ball offer and would not be granting access to its books for its rival to conduct due diligence.

The Australand board dismissed the  “incomplete” bid by announcing it had received “an unsolicited, indicative, non-binding and incomplete proposal from Stockland to acquire shares it did not already own”. The would-be bidder bought a 19.9% stake in Australand in March and needed to increase this to 30% in order to seize control.

Stockland had offered 1.111 of its securities for each Australand security. Australand said the offer was worth $4.20 per security and was not enough.

Based on Stockland’s closing price of $3.78 on April 22, 2014, Australand said it implied an offer price of $4.20 per security.

Stockland defended the value of its bid, saying it had already taken account of the premium in the price of Australand stock following its earlier purchase which saw the stock rise in value  on speculation a takeover was in the wings.

Life in laneways

Against the trend that is seeing corporates shifting to trendy new premises on the Melbourne CBD’s outskirts, some city addresses are still pulling in companies preferring to stay in older-style digs north of the river.

A 173 sqm office on the fourth level at 517-535 Flinders Lane has been snapped up for $865,000.

The space is in the popular The Edition Tower and is not refurbished, but is situated close to both Flinders and Southern Cross train stations.

CBRE’s Tom Tuxworth, who helped negotiate the $5000-sqm deal on behalf of Sullivan Property, said strata development such as found in The Edition is still a sought-after destination in the CBD.

“The Edition is becoming one of Melbourne’s hottest places to work, with buyers attracted to the building’s creative design and resort-like facilities,” Mr Tuxworth said.

Another recent transaction was the first floor of 414 Lonsdale St, bought by a Chinese developer for $600,000.

The space will be renovated by the firm, which intends to use it as its Melbourne headquarters.

“We feel that this sale, along with other recent whole floor transactions, (show) buyers being more aggressive in negotiating and securing strata office properties,” he said.

Room for more pies

Queensland icon Yatala Pies has paid $3.7 million for a neighbouring 5.26 ha site from BP Australia, in order to expand its baking operations housed 30km south of Brisbane.

Located at 48 Old Pacific Highway, Yatala, the property received four offers from interested parties, according to selling agent David Seale of Colliers International.

Yatala Pies manager Susan Porter said “the rare opportunity to buy 5 ha of land with highway frontage and easy access could not be passed up”.

“We plan to develop the site to expand our customer facilities and provide new amenities, space for caravan and car parks and shaded alfresco and garden seating areas,” Porter said.

“The aim is to enhance customer experience as we continue to capture the local and the tourist clientele.”

Yatala Pies was established more than 130 years ago and today sells more than 3500 pies and sweet pastries a day.

Planning reforms

Property developers and planning professionals are keen to learn what the Victorian  Government is thinking after the announcement of proposed reforms to state-wide infrastructure decision-making.

They will get their first opportunity on May 1, when Planning Minister  Matthew Guy announces the reforms at a lunch event hosted by the Property Council of Australia.

MPA chief executive Peter Seamer, DTPLI deputy secretary Christine Wyatt, Urban Enterprise managing director Matt Ainsaar and APD Projects director Brad Paddon as moderator will also speak at the function.

The speakers will discuss how the changes will affect the development industry and local government sector.