24 Jun 2011

Talks continue on price to end management contract

7:48 am on 24 June 2011

Argosy Property Trust will not be paying $32.5 million to end ANZ Bank's management of its portfolio, admitting investors will not accept it.

The trust wants to bring the management of its properties in house, but institutional investors had argued that the price tag is far too high and the move is not in unitholders' best interests.

Independent directors Trevor Scott and Peter Brook, themselves unitholders, say that after feedback from investors and further analysis by advisers First NZ Capital, they cannot recommend a deal at that price.

They will continue to talk with ANZ bank's subsidiary, OnePath, about an acceptable price to end the management contract.

Institutional investors such as ACC, the New Zealand Superannuation Fund and Westpac, want OnePath thrown out, and had requested an investor meeting to consider the matter.

The independent directors expect to update unitholders further next week.

Meanwhile, Grant Samuel is close to preparing an appraisal report.

DNZ Property Fund has tried to take advantage of the tussle, suggesting a merger between it and Argosy - a move firmly rejected by Argosy until the future of its management is sorted out.