Augusta doubles stake in NPT

Augusta Capital has paid a 17%  premium to double its stake in real estate investor NPT, putting more clout behind its bid to replace the board and block a deal giving management control to Kiwi Property Group.

Auckland-based Augusta bought about 15.5million shares at 68c apiece from investors including the Accident Compensation Corp and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, lifting its ownership of NPT to 18.9%  from 9.3%,  notices to the NZX show. That was a premium to the 58c that NPT shares closed at on Thursday. Yesterday the stock rose 5.9%  to 62.5c.

The acquisition comes ahead of a special meeting on April 21 where NPT shareholders will be asked to vote on approving a deal to buy two buildings from Kiwi Property for $230million. The purchase would be funded through a sale of $93.9 million of stock and the issue of shares at 61c apiece to Kiwi Property, which would end up with a 19.99%  stake. In addition, Kiwi Property would buy NPT’s management contract for $6 million.

The Kiwi Property deal trumped an alternative proposal put forward by Augusta, which was  withdrawn. 

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