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NPT mulls hostile bid from Augusta Capital

NZN 21/11/2016 Sophie Boot

NPT, the listed property investor, lifted first-half profit 2.3 per cent and says it's still considering a hostile bid from rival Augusta Capital.

Operating profit before gains and losses, the preferred measure for property investors as it removes changes in the value of their portfolios, rose to $3.4 million in the six months to the end fo September from $3.3m a year earlier, it said.

Gross rental income dipped 0.5 per cent, with revenue from its commercial properties down 11 per cent to $1.9, and evenue from its industrial segment dipped 1.3 per cent, while income from its retail properties rose 4.6 per cent.

Last week, NPT's board said it had appointed Northington Partners to consider a planned transaction put forward by minority shareholder Augusta Capital.

Augusta is attempting to oust chairman John Anderson and directors Jim Sherwin and Tony Sewell, replacing them with its own chairman, Paul Duffy, and independents Bruce Cotterill and Allen Bollard.

Augusta is seeking a shareholder meeting to vote on the board, and would use the forum to put a proposal to the property group's shareholders for NPT to buy three buildings worth $329m so Augusta could buy the management contract.

NPT's board has said it was already considering other proposals around the time Augusta presented its one, and new parties have expressed interest since Augusta's proposal was disclosed to the market.

In the first-half accounts on Tuesday, the directors said they "will advise all shareholders on the offer and the group's course of action as soon as possible."

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