Centuria flags acquisition strategies

Listed property fund manager Centuria signalled it's open to acquisition and partnership opportunities, which it is actively discussing with a major shareholder.

The investment manager, with $4.6 billion in funds under management, told shareholders that it "continues to look at a range of potential acquisition and partnership and opportunities."

Centuria pointed to an article in The Australian stating it is engaging in discussions with ESR (e-Shang Redwood) about potential strategies regarding Propertylink (PLG), another Australian property investment manager.

ESR, a logistics real estate investment firm which has offices in China, Japan and Singapore, has holdings in both the ASX-listed companies.

Centuria proposed to acquire Propertylink in September 2017, but was rejected by PLG's directors.

PLG's board said at the time the takeover "undervalues PLG, taking into account the nature of consideration, the underlying value of PLG's investment portfolio, co-investment stakes and institutional wholesale funds management platform."

Centuria said it regularly holds discussions with substantial shareholders to discuss "strategic direction" and particularly with, ESR, which also has a substantial stake in PLG.

These discussions have canvassed a wide range of issues including support for strategy and capital initiatives and potential opportunities in the industrial and office space, Centuria said.

"No agreement has been reached between the parties in relation to any of these matters," it said.

"Centuria will update the market in relation to these opportunities as and when required in accordance with its continuous disclosure obligations," Centuria said in a statement.

Centuria recently unveiled a 941% jump in revenue to $32.1 million in its half-year results.

Similarly, it recovered from a loss of $1.4 million to $36.3 million in statutory net profit after tax compared to the previous corresponding period. The group's AUM grew 19% to $4.6 billion.

Group chief executive John McBain said: "FY18 will be the first opportunity for investors and the market to see clearly the benefits of the large property fund platform we acquired in January 2017 over a 12 month period. The acquisition significantly transformed the nature and composition of our earnings, markedly increasing recurring revenues and tripling the group's market capitalisation."

Centuria acquired 10 A-grade properties for $655 million and saw uplift in asset revaluations of $115 million.

McBain added: "The scale of property acquisitions in 1H18 was virtually unmatched in our peer set and we continue to review attractive investment opportunities."

Read more: CenturiaPLGESRListed propertyPropertylinkCNIJohn McBain
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