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Merged ING trust becomes NZ’s second largest

24 June 2005

Merged ING trust becomes NZ’s second largest

ING Property Trust and Urbus Properties Limited are merging to form New Zealand’s second largest listed property vehicle, following ING’s successful takeover offer for Urbus.

ING Property Trust announced today it had received acceptances exceeding the 90% threshold required to effect a full merger of the Trust and Urbus. Under the Takeovers Code, the Trust can at this point compulsorily acquire all outstanding Urbus securities. The offer will close today, as scheduled.

Chairman of ING Property Trust Management Limited, Mike Smith, said he is delighted at the outcome, pointing to the benefits likely to flow from the increased size and scale of the combined property portfolio. Mr Smith said that the growth in ING Property Trust, since its establishment in late 2002, had been phenomenal, resulting in a transformation of the formerly ‘boutique’ Trust into one of the country’s leading listed property investment vehicles.

“Less than three years ago, the Trust owned just two properties. Since then, due to the strong vision and belief in the Trust’s potential, much has happened – and the possibilities for where the Trust can go from here are very exciting.” Once merged, the Trust is also likely to rank in the top 30 stocks listed on the NZSX50.

“The Trust will be able to participate in more significant, and a greater number of, investment opportunities, with the potential for increased earnings and higher returns for all unitholders,” said Mr Smith.

Broader benefits of the merger include a simplified capital structure and operational costs savings for the combined group.

At the end of April, Urbus security holders received a formal offer from ING Property Trust of 0.980 ING units for every one share or convertible note held in Urbus. The offer was favourably endorsed by independent advisers and analysts, and also carried a recommendation from the Board of Urbus for all Urbus security holders to accept the offer.

ENDS

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