26 May 2011

Argosy directors in no haste over merger idea

2:02 pm on 26 May 2011

Argosy Property Trust's independent directors say they're keeping an open mind about a merger with DNZ Property Fund, but remain focused on internalising its management contract.

Argosy plans to bringing the management of its portfolio in-house, which will require it to pay its manager - the ANZ Bank subsidiary OnePath - $32.5 million.

But DNZ thinks a merger could result in a significant cut to the proposed payment.

In a letter to unitholders, Argosy's independent directors, Trevor Scott and Peter Brook, say they're keeping an open mind about a potential merger, but they see no compelling reason to act with the haste that DNZ is urging.

They've previously said OnePath could have sold its management contract to someone else for a higher price but had chosen to work on a deal that it believes achieves the best outcome for Argosy's unitholders.

The directors say not proceeding down that track reopens the possibility of OnePath selling the management contract to someone else.

They say internalising the management contract is likely to generate the greatest value for unitholders, who will get the chance to vote on the proposal in July or early August.