Almost 12 months ago, diminished
property giant Lend Lease made an unsolicited proposal to merge with
GPT, the property trust it had conceived and managed for almost 30
years, and after much negotiation GPT directors put a proposal to
unit holders that they supported and recommended.
group Stockland then put an alternative proposal for a takeover of GPT
before the GPT vote on the Lend Lease proposal and that proposal was
rejected, partly because Westfield bought a 5% stake in GPT and voted
against it. GPT directors then advised shareholders to reject the
Stockland proposal, which was then withdrawn leaving no proposals.
the magicians at GPT propose their own internalisation of management
selling off the crown jewels to Westfield at book value (well done
Lowys) and using the proceeds from this sale to form a joint venture
with Babcock & Brown where GPT puts up almost all the cash (some
joint venture) to buy tenement apartments in Germany from guess who?
Yep, Babcock & Brown which makes a whopping great profit on the
To make matters worse, the GPT directors roll this all up
as one deal and ensure shareholders can’t vote on the parts and even
worse the ASX, bastion of regulation, don’t require Westfield to not
vote their shares notwithstanding the huge benefit they stand to gain.
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just when GPT unitholders are getting ready to vote on this duff deal
out comes Lend Lease yesterday saying they it announces its own
proposal and, to titillate, it says it won’t involve a takeover.
we waited and what did we get? A 51-page critique of the GPT
internalisation (with many valid comments), but no alternative other
than a claim that if unitholders vote down the internalisation, Lend
Lease will ride in on a white charger and do the right thing.
Meanwhile, GPT staff were yesterday locked out of the head office as
Lend Lease exercises its management rights which could soon be
If you can follow all this you are really a guru –
but think of all the advisers burning the midnight oil. The advisers,
the printers and Australia Post are thus far the only beneficiaries of
this complex saga.