Australian funds manager Centuria Capital Group resumed its bid to buy the whole of NZX-listed funds manager Augusta Capital Ltd on Monday, but at “an implied” $1/share for the balance.
Centuria withdrew a $2/share takeover bid at the end of March, then participated in Augusta’s subsequent capital-raising at 55c/share.
That took Centuria to a 22.875% holding. On Monday, Centuria announced it had entered lockup agreements lifting its stake to 42.175%, offering participants NZ20c cash plus 0.392 of a Centuria stapled security – equating, at the moment, to the implied $1/share.
Despite these agreements, a full takeover offer isn’t a certainty.
Augusta said in Monday’s announcement: “The takeover notice is not a takeover offer. If Centuria proceeds to make a takeover offer, it must do so within the period that begins 14 days and ends 30 days after today (15 June). Shareholders should be aware that Centuria is not legally obliged to make an offer during that period and, if it does not do so, Centuria’s takeover notice will lapse.”
An Augusta board committee will appoint an independent advisor to report on the merits of the offer and has recommended that Augusta shareholders take no action until they receive further guidance, including that report.
If an offer is made, Augusta will prepare a target company statement to be released with the independent advisor’s report.
The biggest 2 shareholders with lockup agreements are Augusta managing director Mark Francis (21.2 million shares) & director Bryce Barnett (5 million shares).
Among Augusta’s assets is an 18.85% holding in NZX-listed Asset Plus Ltd, which on Tuesday reported a $14.7 million loss for the year to March, largely the result of a $19.1 million reduction in value of its investment property portfolio.
17 June 2020: Revaluations take Asset Plus to loss, company still working on developments
13 May 2020: Centuria nears 23% stake in Augusta
8 May 2020: Augusta completes second stage of capital-raise
5 May 2020: Augusta Capital completes first stage of $45 million capital-raising
4 May 2020: Trading in Augusta shares halted
1 May 2020: Augusta forfeits one deposit, second one for property fund still at risk
28 March 2020: Augusta pulls Albany purchase, but property fund may be revived
27 March 2020: Augusta pulls property fund IPO
27 March 2020: Centuria ends Augusta bid
3 February 2020: Strong NZ connections already for Augusta bidder Centuria
Attribution: Company release & buyout documents.