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June 15, 2020

Centuria launches fresh acquisition bid for Augusta Capital

ASX-listed real estate investment manager Centuria Capital has renewed its bid for the full acquisition of New Zealand’s Augusta Capital for NZ$130m ($83.5m).

Centuria is now offering a share to buy the remaining shares in Augusta for an implied price of NZ$1 per Augusta share.

This is half the previous offer, which was launched in January and withdrawn in March due to market volatility caused by the Covid-19 crisis.

Under the new offer, each Augusta share will fetch NZ$0.20 in cash and 0.392 of a Centuria stapled security.

The deal, if materialised, is said to boost Centuria’s assets under management by 24% to A$8.9bn.

The merged entity would have “greater asset sector diversification”, noted Centuria while highlighting the benefits of the takeover.

The offer is supported by Augusta’s founding shareholders as well as other Augusta’s shareholders who along with Centuria’s shareholding account for 42.2% of Augusta’s total shares on issue.

Centuria joint CEO John McBain said: “An acquisition of the remaining interest in Augusta is consistent with our strategy and the two groups are extremely compatible. This strategy is based on a positive post COVID-19 outlook and Centuria will benefit greatly from a 24% increase in AUM as well as a broad Australasian footprint.

“Recently, the Augusta Board and management team took decisive action to minimise the impact of COVID-19 by significantly reducing corporate debt and releasing surplus cash to aid growth in the core businesses. Accordingly, its NZ platform is now well placed to take advantage of opportunities as COVID-19 unwinds.”

Centuria offers listed and unlisted real estate funds along with tax-effective investment bonds. The business manages A$7.2bn in assets.

It picked a 23.3% stake in Augusta Capital last month through a capital raising.

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