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Argosy sells vacant Albany site at small discount to valuation

Thursday 31st May 2012

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Argosy Property, whose shareholders agreed to corporatise the company after buying out the ANZ Bank-owned manager last year, has sold an empty building in Auckland's Albany suburb for a small discount.

The Auckland-based property investor sold a vacant lot on the North Shore after tenant Dick Smith Electronics re-located to Manukau last year, it said in a statement. The price represents 93 percent of the $6.9 million book value, indicating it sold at $6.4 million. The sale will settle on June 8.

"The current North Shore industrial market generally demands a much lower office to warehouse ratio than the Bush Rd property," the company said. "This combined with the current maximisation of buildings on the site constrains the future potential of the property for Argosy."

Last week, Argosy said it wanted to sell underperforming assets and vacant land to further reduce its $382 million of bank debt. The property investor flagged flat distributable earnings of $33.4 million in the year ended March 31, and expects a similar result in 2013.

The unnamed purchaser is a locally-based owner-occupier, it said.

Argosy's shares rose 0.6 percent to 85 cents in trading yesterday, and have gained 7 percent this year. The stock is rated a 'hold' based on the average consensus of five analysts compiled by Reuters, with a median target price of 86 cents.

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