Centuria lands rival $316m bid for GPT fund 

25 May 2016

Publication: Sydney Morning Herald (print)

Date: 25 May 2016
Author: Carolyn Cummins

 

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Centuria Metropolitan REIT has thrown its hand into the mix with a $316 million takeover offer for the listed GPT Metro Office Fund.

If successful, it will create a $900 million REIT and be the only listed REIT focused on the suburban office sector. It also marks the return of Nicholas Collishaw, the former chief executive of GPT Group who now holds the same position at the listed Centuria business.

Centuria has offered an indicative and non-binding $2.46 scrip and cash proposal to GPT Metro, with a value of $316 million. The overall Centuria group, led by John McBain, owns a 16.1 per cent stake in the GPT office, of which Mr Collishaw’s Centuria Metropolitan REIT, has a 2.6 per cent interest. GPT Metro Office Fund owns six assets at Olympic Park, Sydney,

Brisbane and at Hawthorn in Melbourne’s east and Centuria owns 10 office and three industrial assets in Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra and Adelaide.

But Centuria has to fight off rival Growthpoint, which has also made a highly conditional and non-binding cash and scrip offer to GPT’s Metro fund’s independent board committee, which comprises John Atkin as chairman, Justine Hickey and Paul Say.

Growthpoint is midway through exclusive due diligence on the GPT Metro fund after improving its initial offer from $295 million to around $310 million. It is being backed by its listed South African parent of the same name.

Brokers at CLSA have said that with direct assets becoming increasingly more competitive to buy and Growthpoint open to mergers and acquisitions, it was only a matter of time before Growthpoint made an “opportunistic bid for GPT Metro.”

The GPT office IBC has said no action is required by GPT Metro Office Fund unitholders “at this time”.