29 Jan 2020

Augusta Capital offered $180m for takeover bid

1:19 pm on 29 January 2020

Listed commercial property investor Augusta Capital is the latest takeover target.

Auckland CBD Aerial view

Photo: 123rf

Australian listed property investor Centuria Capital Group is looking to buy all of the shares in Augusta for $2 each, valuing it at about $180 million, and a near 20 percent premium to Augusta's closing price yesterday.

Major shareholders representing 36 percent of Augusta, including its founder Mark Francis, have accepted the offer, with the company's independent directors unanimously supporting it in the absence of a better offer.

"Centuria's offer for Augusta represents an attractive opportunity for Augusta shareholders to either realise full value for their Augusta investment or to remain invested through Centuria's scrip offer and become part of a substantially larger, diversified Australasian property investment manager," Augusta chair Paul Duffy said.

"I believe Centuria will bring added capability to support the launch of new investment offerings over the coming years, which our long-standing investors would continue to benefit from."

Centuria has a market capitalisation of more than $AU1 billion on the ASX, and will go ahead with the offer once it receives various official approvals.

It would offer Augusta shareholders a choice of cash or Centuria shares (scrip offer). The offer would be made under the Takeover Code allowing minority shareholders to refuse any bid.

Centuria chief executives John McBain and Jason Huljich said in an ASX market announcement that their company was compatible with Augusta.

"Centuria and Augusta have proven themselves as leading real estate fund managers in their respective countries and by combining them we see an opportunity to significantly grow the enlarged group in Australasia.

"Crucially, both teams have similar cultures and investment philosophies which will continue to underpin this growth strategy."