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National Property unit holders vote to dump manager

National Property unit holders overwhelmingly vote to dump manager

Nov. 25 (BusinessDesk) – More than 99% of National Property Trust’s unit holders voted to turn the trust into a regular company and internalise its management contract at a cost of nearly $20 million.

The vote is the culmination of efforts by a group of unit holders with some 10% of the company, led by the family of businessman Selwyn Cushing. They had pushed for the change, saying the trust has performed poorly under the current manager, one of the units of St Laurence to avoid receivership.

Under the transformation, units in the trust will be swapped for shares of the new company, management rights will be internalised, units held by the manager and those held overseas will be redeemed.

It will cost $16.3 million to redeem and cancel the manager, National Property Trust Ltd.’s 31.95 million units next month and a further $2.5 million to buy out the management contract, slated for March 31 next year. 4. The new company, NPT Ltd., will list on the NZX on April 1 and the trust will be delisted the same day.

Jim Sherwin, who is chairman of the management company and will become a director of the newly corporatized NPT Ltd., said the new structure “will improve transparency and accountability and give shareholders more say in the future direction of the company.”

“We also expect an improvement in overall performance resulting in higher returns for investors,” he said in a statement.

An assessment by Northington Partners of buying out the contract put the annual savings initially at $550,000. Further savings would come from not having to pay a performance fee to the manager.

The new company board is to be chaired by John Anderson, with David Cushing, Tony McNeil, Kerry Hitchcock and Sherwin as directors. The new board will meet early in the New Year to determine the strategic direction of the company, it said.

The units last traded on the NZX unchanged at 53 cents.


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