One of the biggest shareholders in $102 million NZX-listed NPT has expressed support for the property business after Friday's angry shareholders' meeting.
Matt Goodson of Salt Funds Management said today: "Our intention is to be a patient and supportive long-term investor."
Salt holds 13.7 per cent of the business with a market capitalisation of $102m and Goodson said the main problem with NPT's proposed but now-ditched $230m deal with Kiwi Property Group was lack of a rights issue underwriter.
He is optimistic about the future of the company, after Augusta's managing director Mark Francis addressed Friday's meeting and Augusta succeeded in its shareholder resolutions to remove NPT directors Tony Sewell and Jim Sherwin and appoint its own: Augusta chairman Paul Duffy along with Allen Bollard and Bruce Cotterill.
Goodson said it was now in Augusta's interests to make NPT perform.
"NPT remains at a major discount to net tangible assets but in our view has more potential upside from its property assets than most. Augusta's stake is now clearly a major part of their own asset base so they will need it to do well. Their background in core plus property is very strong, so we are hopeful that in time a re-rating may occur," Goodson said.
Even though it only has a $100m market capitalisation, NPT has a property portfolio valued in its interim report last September at $169.85 million, comprising:
• Eastgate shopping centre in Christchurch, valued at $58m;
• Auckland's AA centre, valued at $36.65 million;
• Auckland's Roskill Centre, valued at $35m
• Heinz Wattie's warehouse in Hastings, valued at $27.2m;
• Print Place, Christchurch valued at $13m.
Augusta is NPT's largest shareholder with 18.85 per cent, followed by ANZ Investments with 15.3 per cent.
NPT is today trading at 63c, down from 70c late last year. Lack of share price growth was one of the points raised about it at Friday's meeting where Sewell told Francis to be quiet a number of times, there were many complaints people could not hear and other investors voiced their disappointment with NPT.