Capital Board Announce Outcome Of Business Review
5 January 2006
Capital Properties Board Announce Outcome Of Business Review
The board of Capital Properties New Zealand Limited announced today that it had completed its review of the Capital Properties business following the takeover by AMP Property Portfolio Investments Ltd becoming unconditional.
This review was foreshadowed in AMP Property Portfolio's offer document which indicated that, if AMP Property Portfolio received sufficient acceptances to give it more than 50% of the voting rights in Capital Properties, AMP Property Portfolio would seek majority representation on the Capital Properties board and support the Capital Properties board in conducting a rigorous review of the existing assets, operations, policies (including distribution policies) and capital structure of Capital Properties.
As an outcome of the review the Capital Properties board today announced the Company's dividend policy would be amended to place greater emphasis on growth in underlying assets per share and less emphasis on dividend yield. Consistent with this, it has been resolved to move from the Company's previous practice of paying out close to 100% of net earnings to a lower payout ratio in the range of 40%-60%. It is also intended that dividends will be paid six monthly rather than quarterly, as has been the Company's practice in the past.
Chairman of the Capital Properties board, Murray Gribben said, "With the focus remaining firmly on the creation of shareholder wealth, the board has recognised that, with a number of potentially significant developments coming up over the next 3-5 years, it makes sense to retain a portion of our earnings to assist in the funding of these opportunities."
Mr Gribben said that the resulting stronger balance sheet would provide greater capacity to resource the Company's commitment to serving government sector accommodation requirements in Wellington, where the Company is working on a number of significant development and refurbishment opportunities. Mr. Gribben noted that the board would be taking the opportunity to review the Company's dividend policy on a six monthly basis, taking into consideration the Company's growth opportunities, retained earnings and earnings outlook.
The Company also announced that financial reporting legislation requires the Company to move from a 31 March balance date to a 31 December balance date, consistent with the balance date of its controlling shareholder AMP Property Portfolio Investments Limited. The move to a December balance date will occur after the annual accounts are prepared for the year ending 31 March 2006, with the following set of annual accounts being for the nine month period to 31 December 2006. It is currently intended that, after 31 December 2006, dividends will be paid each year on or about 30 September for the six months ending 30 June and on or about 31 March for the six months ending 31 December.
On 16 September 2005, the Company paid a first quarter gross dividend of 2.5 cents per share made up of 2.00 cents cash and 0.50 cents imputation credits. The quantum and payment dates for remaining dividends for the year ending 31 March 2006, and the nine months ending 31 December 2006, will be determined following the closure of AMP Property Portfolio's takeover offer.
AMP Property Portfolio's Offer has been extended and declared unconditional, and now closes at 11.59pm on 13 January 2006. As at 4 January 2006, AMP Property Portfolio had received acceptances which would give it 84.77% of the voting rights in Capital Properties. Effective 4 January 2006, Capital Properties has been excluded from the New Zealand Stock Market benchmark NZSX 50 index, due to the reduction in the Company's free float market capitalisation. Capital Properties remains listed on the NZSX and continues to hold a place in the NZSX Property Sector Index.
The board of Capital Properties now comprises existing directors Murray Gribben, Michael Cashin and James Ogden and newly appointed non-independent directors Rob Morrison and Stewart McRobie. Mr Gribben is Head of Alternative Assets for AMP Capital Investors (New Zealand) Limited and a non-independent director.
Mr Morrison is Director of Asian Investments, AMP Capital Investors Australia and Mr McRobie is the New Zealand General Manager of Finance for AMP Financial Services. Mr Cashin and Mr Ogden continue as independent directors and comprise the Independent Directors' Committee for the purposes of the AMP Property Portfolio takeover offer.