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Orion portfolio slims down $26m

By Chris Hutching

Friday 19th May 2000

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Most of the buildings recently sold from AMP Asset Management's Orion portfolio went to individuals rather than commercial syndicators.

Sales and acquisitions manager Ian Pike said there was little discounting on the Auckland and Wellington properties and he described the demand for properties under $5 million as "relatively buoyant."

There were 18 properties placed on the market last October, mostly in Auckland and Wellington fringe locations.

Twelve of the properties have been sold for a combined $26 million to three "high net-worth individuals," according to Mr Pike.

Two of the remaining properties, Opus Hse, Hamilton, and Deloitte Hse in Oxford Tce, Christchurch, are still on the market. Mr Pike was in Christchurch mid-week to talk to Colliers Jardine agents about the marketing programme for the four-level Deloitte Hse, which attracts annual rentals of $462,025. The six-level Opus Hse enjoys annual rentals $390,367.

Another four properties will be retained by Ampam. Mr Pike said it would be incorrect to assume they were difficult properties to market. Ampam had certain conditions it wanted buyers to meet, such as including certain properties with others for a sale to proceed.

The four properties include the Truckstops property at Vesty Dr in Mt Wellington; the 13-storey Radio NZ Hse near Parliament Buildings, Wellington, with rentals of $1.2 million; the six-level Saturn Hse at Petone, Wellington, with rentals of $327,862; and Origination Hse in Ponsonby Rd, Auckland, where the annual rental income is $226,200. Mr Pike said the money raised from the sale of the other properties would be spent on property projects such as the Botany town centre in East Auckland and new ventures in Wellington.

The Orion portfolio presents Ampam with challenges because syndications have gone out of favour recently and the relatively lower price levels of the properties being marketed meant they would be best suited to private investors.

Some investors looked askance at a request from Ampam for a non-refundable fee from prospective buyers before they would be permitted to carry due diligence on the portfolio. But the fee was designed to weed out people who were simply curious, according to Mr Pike. Ampam is New Zealand's largest property investment management company, managing a total property portfolio of $1.4 billion.

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