23 Sep 2011

ANZ abandons plans to change Vital's management

1:50 pm on 23 September 2011

But Radio New Zealand's business editor says another unitholder, ACC, still intends to ask other investors to remove ANZ as manager, at the annual meeting in December.

Talks between Vital's independent directors and ANZ's subsidiary, OnePath - the manager of the portfolio - have been troubled.

Key investors ACC, New Zealand Superannuation Funds and BT Funds have been critical of OnePath, saying its performance of Vital's portfolio had been substandard for unitholders.

They and another potential investor, Ascot Property Management, baulked at paying $14 million to OnePath to end the contract and talks broke down for a time, before recommencing late last month.

But the 9% stake ANZ bought in Vital on Thursday, which includes part of ACC's holding, has changed the picture.

After heavy criticism of OnePath's management of another landlord, Agrosy Property Trust, which eventually brought its management in-house, it appears the bank has had enough - at least for the moment.

Vital's independent directors say internalisation and making the Trust a listed company is the best option and they indicated ANZ is still open to the idea.

However ACC says it will still ask investors to remove OnePath as manager, replacing it with an internal manager, at December's annual meeting.