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Augusta MD Mark Francis buys out brother Chris’s stake for $3.8 mln

Tuesday 25th June 2013

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Augusta Capital managing director Mark Francis has bought out his brother's stake in the listed property investor and fund manager for $3.8 million, taking his holding to almost 18 percent.

Mark Francis bought 4.5 million shares, or 5.5 percent, of Augusta at 84.5 cents apiece from his brother and general manager Chris Francis, the company said in a statement. The purchase "consolidates Mark's long term commitment to the company," it said in a statement. Chris will stay on as GM for another 12 months, before pursuing other interests, it said.

The Francis brothers became full-time employees of Augusta, then known as Kermadec Property Fund, last year in a $5 million deal to internalise the company's manager, which the brothers owned and operated, and to buy their funds management business. The brothers also stood to reap a further $2 million from the sale if earn-out targets were met.

The shares last traded at 85 cents and have gained 7.6 percent this year. That values the firm at $69.1 million, of which Mark's increased stake is worth some $12.4 million.

Separately, Augusta said its syndicate offer for a Penrose, Auckland property settled on June 20 and was over-subscribed, and it will launch another proportionate ownership scheme for an industrial building in Henderson, Auckland.

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