Archive | Tower

Propbd on Q T5Aug14 – Big tick for Goodman fee change, NPT stake cut, new lowball offers

Goodman fee restructure support just a few votes off 100%
Mint reduces NPT stake
Zero Commission makes 2 new lowball offers

5.20pm:
Goodman fee restructure support just a few votes off 100%

Goodman Property Trust unitholders voted 99.79% in support of a new management fee structure at the annual meeting at the trust’s Highbrook business park today.

  • Meeting story to come overnight.

Earlier story, 16 July 2014: Goodman manager proposes incentive to make development land income-producing faster

Mint reduces NPT stake

Mint Asset Management has dropped its stake in NPT Ltd (ex-National Property Trust) from 7.2% last October to 5.8%.

Zero Commission makes 2 new lowball offers

2 listed companies, Tower Ltd & Pumpkin Patch Ltd, told the NZX today Zero Commission NZ Ltd (Roy Jackson & Phil Briggs, Oneroa, Waiheke Island) had given them notice of an intention to make lowball offers to shareholders.

Tower said Zero Commission’s offer to holders of parcels of 200-750 shares would be at $1.72/share, 10c below yesterday’s closing price but only 7c below today’s close.

Tower chief financial officer Michael Boggs warned: “Shareholders accepting Zero Commission’s offer should be aware they are likely to be in the position of being an unsecured creditor of Zero Commission during the period between their shares being transferred to Zero Commission and receiving full payment from Zero Commission.”

Zero Commission offered 36c/share for parcels up to 3000 shares in Pumpkin Patch. That was 5c below yesterday’s close, 8c below today’s.

Home sales & listings slide but prices hold, says Barfoots chief

Barfoot & Thompson said today its residential listings reached a 7-month low at the end of July.

Managing director Peter Thompson said sales dropped from 1037 in June to 983 in July and the average sale price rose less than 1%, from $714,054 to $719,312 in July.

Story: Barfoots chief says sales & listings slide, prices steady

Attribution: Annual meeting, company releases.

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Ex-Macquarie duo’s Foundation buys Tower Life

Tower Ltd has turned round from its position 6 months ago and sold its remaining life insurance business, Tower Life (NZ) Ltd, to Foundation Life (NZ) Holdings Ltd, subject to conditions including regulatory approvals.

The aggregate value of the transaction is $36 million – $34 million payable on completion, $2 million 2 years later.

Tower realised $370 million from the sale of 3 businesses in a year, including selling its main life insurance assets – the health & life in-force and group risk businesses – to Fidelity Life Assurance Co Ltd last May for $189 million.

Tower Life NZ comprises Tower’s residual “run-off” life business, including a participating book, annuity business, unit-linked book and a small amount of traditional non-participating term insurance. It had total assets of more than $700 million at 31 March.

The buyer’s parent company, Foundation Life Insurance & Mortgage Broking Pty Ltd, was formed in 2009 by Patrick McLaughlin & Jamie Markou, who both spent the previous 5 years at the Macquarie Private Wealth arm of Macquarie Bank.

Tower said Foundation Life was “a private company that is focused on the acquisition & long-term prudential management of life insurance portfolios which are no longer being actively marketed”.

The Australian business sounds quite different from the “mop-up” outfit Tower described. Mr McLaughlin wrote on his LinkedIn page (and part of the same message on the company website): “I left Macquarie with a great deal of experience, and with the firm belief gained from personal experience that insurance advice needs to be practised & delivered by specialists/experts, and not generalists.

“To this point, one of my often used analogies is, ‘You wouldn’t go to a GP if you had a problem with your heart’. The nuances of getting the insurance advice right for clients, as well as cultivating an in-depth understanding of how the myriad of products available work, making sure claims get paid, means you have to live & breathe insurance as a specialist discipline.

“With this firm belief, at Foundation Broking we have designed a unique methodology that engages clients through a specific & ongoing process to identify their specific Insurance needs.”

Attribution: Company release, Foundation.

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Tower considers proposals and Falconer makes way for new leader

Published 13 September 2012

Tower Ltd today said today it was considering a number of proposals with interested parties after completing its strategic review.

The shares lost 5c after the announcement. They’d got down to $1.76 on 5 September but had climbed to $1.85 yesterday. Asset backing is 1.48/share. Guinness Peat Group plc holds 34.988% of the company.

Group managing director Rob Flannagan said the board felt the share price didn’t reflect Tower’s strength when the company had achieved strong financial results and strengthened operational efficiency.

While Tower had outperformed the New Zealand market since its separation from Tower Australia in 2006, he said the board felt more shareholder value could be created.

“To this end the board is open to changing Tower’s business structure to improve the value achieved for shareholders and is considering proposals, including operational alliances & divestment of assets. At this point, there is no expected outcome from the exercise and any such transactions would need to make sound business sense before being progressed.”

Mr Flannagan said announcements about the propositions being investigated would be made if they represented realistic options for the company. Senior management undertook the review, supported by Goldman Sachs and overseen by the board.

Mr Flannagan said Tower expected the processes with interested parties to be completed by the annual meeting next February. Until then, the focus was on business as usual.

Tower chairman Bill Falconer, whose term expires next February, has decided to step down now to enable a new chairman to implement the initiatives emanating from the strategic review. Independent director Steve Smith, appointed in May, has been named interim chairman.

Mr Flannagan said the process of board renewal was ongoing and the company was well resourced to assess & implement the opportunities flowing from the strategic review while actively managing its business operations.

Mr Falconer told the 2012 annual meeting in February the company had come through last year’s Christchurch earthquakes with a $33.4 million profit for the September 2011 year, down from $58.1 million in 2010. But he said that, since demutualisation, “it has forfeited scale and become an operator across all the major insurance categories, whereas the competition tend to be larger specialist insurers, as Tower used to be.

“Addressing these issues is a primary task of the board, and we would not rule out the disposition (American word for disposal) of assets as well as acquisitions in the interests of improving the positioning of the company in the market, and securing optimal returns for shareholders on their capital. I am conscious that we raised capital from shareholders 2 years ago to enable us to pursue value-creating opportunities which would provide scale for Tower. With nothing immediately on the horizon, a capital repatriation will be addressed as part of this work.”

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Attribution: Company release, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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Tower issue heavily oversubscribed

Published 27 September 2009

Tower Ltd’s rights issue closed 47% oversubscribed on 23 September. Group managing director Rob Flannagan said total applications of $119.85 million, but the maximum offer amount of $81.3 million of shares would be issued. The new shares are expected to be issued on Monday 28 September. Mr Flanagan said the takeup under entitlements, at $74 million, fell 9% short of the maximum, but oversubscription for the $7.3 million balance of shares available totalled $45.8 million.  

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Attribution: Company statement, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.

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