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Augusta pays premium to take stake in NPT

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 25/09/2016 Paul McBeth

Augusta Capital has paid 14 per cent above the market price to take a 9.3 per cent stake in listed property investor NPT.

The Auckland-based fund manager and property investor paid 73 cents apiece for the shareholding, more than the 64 cents the shares last traded at, saying "Augusta saw value in acquiring a cornerstone stake in NPT that became available".

The deal will settle on September 30, Augusta said in a statement. First NZ Capital acted for Augusta.

Accident Compensation Corp sold 15 million shares for almost $11 million. The investment arm of the state-owned workplace insurer first emerged as a substantial shareholder in NPT in May 2010, buying about 10.9 million shares for $5.3m, or about 49 cents apiece.

Augusta diversified into funds management last year when it bought KCL Property and Investment Property Titles, giving it about 165 properties to manage, with some $1.1 billion in funds under management.

Since then it has been focusing on property syndication to grow that funds management business, which it sees as less demanding on capital than direct property investment.

NPT appointed Tony Osborne as chief executive last month, a role he'd been acting as since March. The property investor has been focusing on upgrading its Eastgate shopping centre in Christchurch and refurbishing its AA Centre building in Auckland to take advantage of that city's strong office leasing market.

Augusta shares last traded at $1.07, having gained 7 per cent so far this year.

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