A Sydney asset manager intends to use half a dozen New Zealand office & industrial properties in its initial $A500 million portfolio for a proposed ASX listing.
Goodman Property Trust’s manager, Goodman (NZ) Ltd, and Precinct Properties NZ Ltd issued disclosure notices yesterday saying Quattro Asset Management Pty Ltd, headed by Andrew Saunders, was negotiating to buy 2 properties from each of them.
The Goodman targets are Enterprise Park in Wiri and SuperCheap Auto, part of the Savill Link Estate in Otahuhu.
Goodman NZ chief executive John Dakin said today the company would not normally disclose a transaction before it went unconditional, but selling into a float made a difference: “We’re at the stage now where it’s really up to them to get on with the listing & underwriting.”
The Precinct Properties targets are 2 office buildings, 125 The Terrace in Wellington & SAP Tower in Auckland. Precinct chief financial officer George Crawford said yesterday: “At present no agreement for the sale of these properties has been entered into and there is no certainty as to whether a transaction will proceed. As at 30 June 2014, the properties had a combined book value of $159.4 million.”
The Australian Financial Review mentioned the possible float on 1 September, but no detail about that or of how much substance there was to Quattro surfaced in media in either Australia or New Zealand yesterday.
Around the time the global financial crisis got serious in 2008, Quattro was supported by Mulpha Australia Ltd (a subsidiary of Malaysia-listed Mulpha International Bhd, in turn controlled by Hong Kong company Allied Group Ltd, which also controls listed Hong Kong non-bank financial institution Sun Hung Kai & Co Ltd. Lee Seng Huang, Lee Seng Hui & their sister, Lee Su Hwei – Malaysians educated in Sydney, the children of 1980s corporate raider Lee Ming Tee – operate their family interests through Allied.
For this float, however, the major interest is from Brisbane property finance specialist Stephen Girdis, who came to New Zealand in the 1980s with a short-lived involvement in Kupe Group (developer of the ASB tower now headquarters for Auckland Council, and the company that had plans to develop a spectacular array of highrises above 5 parking levels & a train station on the Britomart site before the 1987 crash brought property schemes to a halt).
Mr Girdis headed Macquarie Bank’s real estate arm from 2007-12, chaired various real estate funds for the bank and was an executive director.
For this float, Commonwealth Bank of Australia has been brought in as underwriter, supported by Deutsche Bank.
In 2008, Mr Saunders headed Real Estate Capital Partners (Recap), which established a real estate trust comprising several US office assets. Its responsible entity was Quattro RE Ltd (ex-Real Estate Capital Partners Managed Investments Ltd). By last year that trust had wound down most of its investments.
The trust made an $A65 million loss in 2013, $A35.3 million from the fall in fair value of its remaining investment property and $A25.5 million from the realised foreign currency loss from the disposal of assets. It had a net $A1.6 million share of profit of equity-accounted investees, and another $A6 million loss not disclosed in the accounts. In 2014 it had an $A2.7 million fair value gain and a net profit of $A2.875 million.
One of its last 2 properties, One Centennial, was sold at a foreclosure auction on a limited recourse loan in April. Recap entered into a debt restructure in August 2013 on the other, the Higgins Centre.
Attribution: Goodman & Precinct releases, phone interview, Australian company websites.