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Charter Hall Office Posts First-Half Loss on Asset Sale

Charter Hall Office REIT, the takeover target of two overseas funds, posted a loss after the sale of seven U.S. properties and said it will pay investors 48 Australian cents a share from the divestitures.

The Australian property trust swung to a loss of A$59.9 million ($64.2 million) in the six months to Dec. 31, compared with net income of A$64.8 million a year earlier, the Sydney-based company said in a statement. Operating earnings, which exclude gains and losses on investments, rose 1.4 percent to A$65 million.

Charter Hall Office in August agreed to sell its U.S. assets for $1.71 billion to entities affiliated with Beacon Capital Partners, as it shifts its focus homeward, and has so far received proceeds of about A$241 million from the completed sales, it said today. Shareholders are expected to receive a total of about A$1.11 a share when all the sales are completed, it said.

The trust is also the subject of a A$1.2 billion takeover bid by Government of Singapore Investment Corp. affiliate and a Canadian pension fund.

Shareholders will vote on the offer by GIC’s Reco Ambrosia Pte and The Public Sector Pension Investment Board of Canada on March 15, and will receive A$2.49 a share on or soon after the anticipated March 30 closing date, the company said today.

Charter Hall Office shares were unchanged at A$3.55 at the close of trading in Sydney.

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