Property editor of the NZ Herald

Augusta and NPT battle over meeting date

Damage to the Eastgate Mall following a 6.3-magnitude earthquake that hit Christchurch causing major damage and fatalities. 28 February 2011 New Zealand Herald Photograph by Dean Purcell NZH
Damage to the Eastgate Mall following a 6.3-magnitude earthquake that hit Christchurch causing major damage and fatalities. 28 February 2011 New Zealand Herald Photograph by Dean Purcell NZH

NZX listed landlord Augusta Capital has complained that fellow listed landlord NPT is delaying a meeting but NPT has hit back saying Augusta is playing a "fast game" trying to hurry the process.

Augusta has issued a statement claiming NPT's board has delayed holding the shareholder meeting which it called "unreasonable".

Augusta wants to buy NPT's management contract and says its High Court application seeking orders requiring NPT to call that meeting is supported by affidavits from cornerstone NPT shareholders Matt Goodson of Salt Funds Management and Craig Tyson of ANZ.

Those two, along with Augusta, own 41 per cent of NPT's shares, Augusta's statement says.

NPT, which owns Christchurch's Eastgate shopping centre in Linwood, issued a statement this week saying it had already notified the market that in January it will call a meeting in February to consider Augusta's moves.

"The board has received four substantive proposals regarding the future of the company, including the Augusta proposal, and has commissioned Northington Partners to undertake an independent assessment of each of these," NPT said.

"To allow sufficient time for this and, acknowledging the impact of the Christmas break, the board considers that the proposed timetable is fair and reasonable and its external advice supports this," NPT's statement said.

John Anderson, NPT chairman, said Augusta was "trying to play a fast game in an attempt to hurry the process in its own interests."

The board remained open to Augusta's proposal and wanted to assess that proposal and all others through a robust process, Anderson said. NPT shareholders would be kept regularly updated, he said.

- NZ Herald

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