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Precinct Properties to sell half-stake in Auckland's ANZ Centre for $181 mln

Friday 29th June 2018

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Precinct Properties New Zealand has signed a binding deal to sell its 50 percent stake in ANZ Centre in downtown Auckland to a fund managed by US investment firm Invesco for $181 million, in line with the building's current valuation.

Auckland-based Precinct attracted strong interest from a number of parties and had previously said indicative bids were north of the $324 million valuation as at June 30, 2017. The commercial property investor today said the sale price was in line with the 2018 valuation.

"The successful sale of a 50 percent interest in ANZ Centre further demonstrates our active management approach," chief executive Scott Pritchard said in a statement. "It is in line with our business strategy and enables us to recycle capital out of assets like ANZ Centre into higher yielding development opportunities."

Precinct specialises in central city real estate, and is focusing on its Commercial Bay and Wynyard Quarter developments in Auckland's CBD and upgrading the Bowen Campus in Wellington. The portfolio of 13 buildings and the development sites were given a draft valuation of $2.5 billion subject to audit, including a $202 million revaluation gain.

Pritchard said if that valuation is affirmed, the building sale will cut Precinct's gearing ratio to 19.5 percent, down from 25.5 percent as at March 31.

Atlanta, US-based Invesco manages US$973 billion of assets worldwide. The deal is subject to Overseas Investment Office approval.

Precinct shares last traded at $1.37, and have edged up 0.7 percent so far this year, lagging behind a 7.2 percent gain on the S&P/NZX 50 index.

(BusinessDesk)

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