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NPT expects to wrap up Kiwi Property talks

NZN 27/03/2017 Paul McBeth

Property investors NPT and Kiwi Property Group expect to wrap up talks for a tie-up in the "next few days" with a special meeting of NPT shareholders expected to vote on the deal in April.

In December, Auckland-based Kiwi Property put forward its plan to sell the North City Shopping Centre in Porirua and Majestic Centre in downtown Wellington to NPT for cash and shares worth $230 million, with NPT raising $100 million of new equity as well as a $50 million issue to Kiwi Property for a 19.9 per cent stake to help fund the deal.

Kiwi Property would also pay $6 million to buy NPT's management contract.

Talks to wrap up the deal took longer than expected, and NPT on Monday said it expects to conclude the arrangements "in the next few days and to call a special meeting of shareholders at that time".

If the deal goes ahead, NPT said it expects to maintain dividend guidance of at least 3.6 cents per share in the 2018 financial year, however the fourth quarter payment for the current year would be adjusted by 0.9 cents per share to account for the larger number of shares on issue.

The plan won the backing of the NPT's board, trumping a rival bid by Augusta Capital, which took legal proceedings seeking orders requiring NPT to call a meeting of shareholders to discuss its bid, but dropped its case in January with its proposal due to be heard at the shareholders' meeting.

NPT shares last traded at 61 cents and have declined 4.7 per cent so far this year, while Kiwi Property stock rose 0.4 per cent to $1.405 and was up 1.1 per cent this year.

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