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Augusta takeover canned, tourism fund in limbo

27 Mar 2020  By Chris Hutching | |

Augusta managing director Mark Francis says it is too soon to know if the company will re-launch marketing for a tourism investment fund that it recently pulled.

The NZX-listed property syndicating company announced today that a takeover bid by Australian company Centuria Capital had been terminated. Augusta’s share price has halved since mid-February to $1.10 this afternoon.

Mark Francis

In mid-February, Francis had announced the “postponement” of the proposed $70m tourism fund until 2021 because of difficulties in raising money for two funds at the same time – Augusta was also promoting a $90m industrial fund.

Today, Francis said there was a lot of speculation amid the global meltdown of equities.

“A number of financial commentators have said that when this is over there will be a rapid bounce-back of tourism but it’s a question of when.”

Francis said there were a number of Augusta’s property assets within various funds that were affected by lease and rental issues of tenants.

“There are lawyers looking at all the scenarios. It’s case-by-case, and it’s certainly keeping lots of lawyers busy.”

Like most other NZX companies, Augusta has cancelled its proposed third quarter dividend at this time.

The Centuria takeover bid had been at $2 a share, which was 20% higher than Augusta’s early January share price, indicating that general market sentiment had pushed it lower this week.


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