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NPT chairman 'disappointed' with dissent

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 30/03/2017 Paul McBeth

NPT chairman Tony Sewell says Salt Funds Management's dissenting view on a proposed deal with Kiwi Property Group is out of line with other major shareholders and he will take it up directly with the fund manager.

Salt Funds principal Matt Goodson on Thursday urged his fellow NPT shareholders to reject the deal, where NPT would buy two buildings from Kiwi Property for $230 million and sell its management contract and issue shares to the larger property firm.

He said it was "an unacceptable transfer of value from NPT shareholders to KPG".

In an emailed statement, Mr Sewell said he was "disappointed" with Salt Funds' action and that the fund manager, which owns 16.9 per cent of NPT, had been regularly consulted on the deal along with other major shareholders.

"The views expressed are at odds with the weight of independent advice we have taken and inconsistent with the feedback we have received from the market - including other major shareholders," Mr Sewell said.

"We will take up the matter directly with Mr Goodson, but remain confident in the strength of the Kiwi Property proposal and the benefits it provides for shareholders and the longer term future of NPT."

NPT has called a special meeting on April 21 to be held in Auckland where the Kiwi Property deal will be put to shareholders with the blessing of the board.

A rival bid by Augusta Capital, which owns 9.3 per cent of NPT, won't be discussed at the meeting but Augusta's resolutions to dump the board and install its own directors will still be voted on.

NPT shares fell 1.7 per cent to 58 cents, matching the forecast price the firm would sell shares at in a $100 million entitlement offer to fund the acquisition.

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