ANZ is selling and leasing back up to 34 of its branch properties around the country.
"We will be selling the properties with a six year lease in place," ANZ's Chief Operating Officer Colin MacDonald said today. "The branches will remain open and operate as normal, but with ANZ as tenant, rather than owner. ANZ will also have the option of renewing the lease after six years.
"The sale of these branches reflects our wish to focus on our core business, banking, rather than on property ownership. The Bank now leases approximately 70% of its branches. Where possible, we now prefer to lease premises to meet the needs and locations of our customers, rather than invest directly in bricks and mortar."
Corporate real estate services firm Colliers Jardine will be handling the nationwide disposal process.
Mark Synnott, managing director of Colliers Jardine said the branches present an attractive investment opportunity.
"In addition to the six year leaseback to ANZ, the branches are all well-maintained buildings in good locations. We expect there will be a lot of interest in them," Mr Synnott said. "Values are expected to range from close to $100,000 to over $2 million in centres ranging from Kaitaia in the north to Dunedin in the south."
The properties will be auctioned in Auckland at the Crowne Plaza (formerly Centra Hotel) at 11am on 18 September 2001, in Wellington at the Duxton Hotel at 11am on 19 September 2001 and in Christchurch at the Holiday Inn at 11am on 20 September 2001.