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Kirkcaldie property sale falls through after buyer walks away

Tuesday 4th December 2012

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The mystery buyer of Kirkcaldie & Stain's Harbour City Centre on Wellington's Lambton Quay has walked away after deciding the building wasn't the right fit as an investment.

The bidder for the $46.5 million property confirmed it wasn't satisfied with the building after deciding the rear development site of the building didn't fit its business plan, Kirkcaldie said in a statement. The buyer missed last Friday's deadline to confirm it was satisfied after performing due diligence.

Kirkcaldie "understands that the purchaser, whilst happy with the main building, concluded that the associated rear development site did not fit with its business plans," it said. "The company is continuing to review its options with respect to the Harbour City Centre buildings."

The building is seen as the jewel in the unprofitable retailer's crown, with its value easily eclipsing Kirkcaldie's entire market capitalisation of $31.2 million, a value gap that has attracted investors including corporate raider Ron Brierley and former Brierley Investments chairman Selwyn Cushing's family.

Kirkcaldie first flagged the sale of the building on Oct. 26, conditional on the purchaser completing and confirming satisfaction with due diligence by 5pm on Nov. 30.

Shares of tightly held Kirkcaldie last traded unchanged at $3.05 and have jumped 17 percent since the conditional sale was announced in October.

BusinessDesk.co.nz

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