2 Aug 2010

National Property Trust 'needs board shake-up'

7:30 pm on 2 August 2010

An institutional investor in National Property Trust says a shake-up of the board is needed to successfully complete the company's overhaul.

On Friday, shareholders overwhelmingly approved a move by the trust to manage its property portfolio and convert it into a listed firm.

Mint Asset Management equities manager Shane Solly says restructuring of the trust is a step in the right direction, but he believes there are still several issues that need to be addressed.

He says the structure of the board needs to be considered, ensuring the capital structure of the new business is appropriate and costs associated with the process are carefully monitored.

A final proposal will be voted on in November, and if approved, the newly listed company is expected to be up and running by 1 April next year.

As part of the deal, the old manager, St Laurence, will receive $2.5 million, and $16.6 million for the 32 million units it holds.

The trust will borrow money to pay for these, increasing its debt to asset ratio from 22% to about 30%.

Separately, Brian Kreft was re-elected to the board.