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Argosy’s biggest holder, MFL, backs internalisation plan

Argosy’s biggest unit-holder, MFL Mutual, will support internalisation on management contract

Aug. 26 (BusinessDesk) – MFL Mutual Fund Ltd., the biggest unit-holder of Argosy Property Trust with a 22% stake, will support a proposal to internalise the management contract at the annual meeting on Aug. 30.

MFL joins the NZ Shareholders Association in backing the plan over of rival proposals to dump the ANZ Bank-owned manager or fold the trust into a rival listed property investor.

The independent directors of Argosy, Peter Brook and Trevor Scott, are also backing the $20 million management buyout.

A group of institutional investors led by the Accident Compensation Corp. will put motions to the meeting to remove the manager under the provisions of the Unit Trusts Act with no compensation. A second motion at the Aug. 30 meeting in Auckland comes from DNZ Property Fund Ltd., which has proposed taking over Argosy.

MFL said it sought advice from investment bank Cameron Partners before backing the plan. DNZ’s proposal had a “lack of clarity” but MFL says there is “merit in exploring merger opportunities” and has sought assurances from the independent directors that they will actively pursue options once internalisation is complete.

Advisory firm Grant Samuel this month deemed the terms of the proposed internalisation of the OnePath contract is “fair” and “in the best interests of unit holders.” It valued the contract at between $19.7 million and $23.7 million if it was sold to a third party today.


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