Centuria takes over NZ’s Augusta Capital for $174m

Centuria takes over NZ’s Augusta Capital for $174m

31 January 2020

Centuria Capital Group has struck a deal to take over one of New Zealand’s largest listed real estate funds management platforms, Augusta Capital Limited, for $NZ180m ($174m).

The deal will result in the ­aggressive platform boosting ­assets under management by $1.9bn to $9.2bn, a 26 per cent.

Augusta is one of NZ’s leading listed real estate funds management businesses, managing $NZ2bn in assets across a range of listed, unlisted and private funds. The deal would result in the integration of one of NZ’s leading real estate funds managers into Centuria’s established platform.

The deal will deliver immediate scale for Centuria across NZ, with a concentration towards Auckland. According to the Centuria’s overview of the transaction, it would “become one of the leading funds management platforms in the Australasian region”.

Centuria’s joint chief executives, John McBain and Jason Huljich, said the acquisition of ­Augusta was consistent with their strategy and the two groups were extremely compatible.

“We are attracted to Augusta’s leading position in New Zealand, its strong distribution platform and its fund origination capability,” they said.

“The Centuria board has been considering a New Zealand platform acquisition for some time.

“The acquisition of Augusta is consistent with our existing strategy and the two groups are extremely compatible.

“We are attracted to Augusta’s leading position in New Zealand, it’s strong distribution platform and its fund origination capability.”

The takeover will be funded with existing cash reserves, a new debt facility, and an $80 million institutional placement being managed by financial advisors Moelis and UBS at an issue price of $2.34 per security.

Augusta shareholders, holding 36.2 per cent of company, will be offered $NZ2 per share via a “mix and match” facility while founders Mark Francis and Bryce Barnett, who hold a 23.3 per cent stake will continue to head the business after entering into pre-bid lock up agreement.

Centuria’s market capitalisation will increase from $1.08bn to more than $1.18bn, enhancing the potential for ASX 200 inclusion.