26 Nov 2010

National Property Trust changes approved

8:50 am on 26 November 2010

Investors in National Property Trust have overwhelmingly voted in favour of turning the trust into a listed company and internalising its management contract.

At a special meeting in Auckland on Thursday afternoon, 99% of unitholders approved the plan.

The new company, with a new board made up of mostly independent directors, will list on the stock exchange in April. it will be led by Sir John Anderson, the former chairman of ANZ Bank.

Sir John says the challenge for the new board lies is finding the right balance between pursuing growth and shareholders interests, in what remains a challenging market.

National Property's biggest investor is for One Path, which says the changes are a step in the right direction.

Investment manager Craig Tyson says he will be watching and working closely with the new board to ensure the interests of shareholders are served.

The conversion into a listed company will see National Property's debt ratio swell from 22% to 35% as it has to pay St Laurence $18.5 million to relinquish its stake and management contract.

Meanwhile, National Property Trust's half year loss has widened to $13 million, due to a 23% fall in rental income and a drop in the value of the portfolio by $2 million to $189 million.