Centro Retail Investors Get Sweetened Deal Before New Trust Vote
Centro Retail Trust is offering its shareholders a sweetened deal to win their support for a plan that will save Centro Properties Group, its debt-laden manager and biggest shareholder, from liquidation.
The retail trust has agreed with lenders of Centro Properties to reduce their stake in a new combined entity, increasing Centro Retail investors’ ownership of the trust to 15.9 percent, from the 14.5 percent proposed earlier, the Melbourne-based mall operator said in a regulatory filing.
Marathon Asset Management, Centro Retail’s second-biggest shareholder, said earlier this week that it planned to vote against the original proposal. An approval by share and debt holders in Centro’s listed and unlisted funds at a series of meetings on Nov. 22 will enable Centro Properties to avert liquidation and erase A$2.9 billion ($2.9 billion) of debt due on Dec. 15 in exchange for giving its senior lenders ownership of most of the new trust.
“We are pleased to have successfully negotiated improvements to the aggregation terms, resulting in significant value enhancements for Centro Retail Trust security holders,” Chairman Peter Day said in the statement. “The board encourages all Centro Retail Trust security-holders to vote in favor of the aggregation at next week’s security-holder meetings.”
Centro Retail shareholders will receive one share in the new entity for every 5.29 securities they currently own, down from 5.8 shares under the earlier plan, the company said.
Under the improved offer, the net tangible assets for Centro Retail shares will rise to 44.4 cents from 40.6 cents under the earlier agreement, according to the statement. The senior lenders will now own 72.3 percent of the new trust, compared with 73.9 percent earlier, Centro Properties said in a separate statement.
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