NPT shareholders reject Kiwi Property deal, elect new board

6:19 pm on 21 April 2017

NPT shareholders have voted against a plan to turn over management of the portfolio to Kiwi Property, while replacing the majority of the board with nominees of property fund manager Augusta Capital.

An auction sign outside a house for sale in Auckland.

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Many of the shareholders at the special meeting in Auckland this morning were opposed to the proposal, which would have seen Kiwi Property sell NPT two of its properties and purchase the management rights for NPT's portfolio.

Almost 55 percent of the votes opposed the proposal, and supported NPT's largest shareholder, Augusta Capital, in its bid to remove the board chairperson, Tony Sewell and director Jim Sherwin from the board.

They have been replaced by independent directors Allen Bollard and Bruce Cotterill and the new chairperson, Paul Duffy, while the existing independent director, Carol Campbell, has kept her seat on the board.

Mr Sewell said the Kiwi Property deal had now lapsed.

"If you strip out Augusta Capital and Salt Funds Management from the voting, almost 80 percent of votes cast were in favour of the proposal," he said.

"However, this was not enough to carry it on the day and so we respectfully stand aside now for the incoming board to develop its own strategy for the future of NPT."

Augusta Capital managing director Mark Francis said the majority rejected what was a poor proposal and he was grateful for the support of those shareholders.

"As outlined to NPT shareholders today our proposed next step will be to present a proposal to externalise the management to Augusta. We can run this company for a lot less, which will realise an uplift in earnings and the current net tangible asset backing per share," he said

"It is now incumbent on Augusta to put forward a superior proposal to the Kiwi deal for consideration by the new board on behalf of all other NPT shareholders."