Battle for ANI REIT heats up as Redefine and Pivotal emerge as bidders

ANI’s asset leased to Post at 6 Macdonald Road, Ingleburn, NSW is in the portfolio being sought after by 360 Capital Industrial Fund.South African-based investors Redefine and Pivotal have emerged as the new mystery bidders in the long-running takeover attempts for control of the n Industrial REIT.

The bidders first surfaced last month with a non-binding, indicative and conditional full cash offer valuing ANI at about $230 million. They are both listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange with Redefine’s market capitalisation at $A5.7 billion and Pivotal at about $600 million.

The South African joint offer is for $2.40 cash per ANI share.

That compares to the rival 360 Capital’s 0.9 share and 24.5¢ per ANI security offer, valuing ANI at $2.35. When paid, the offer will be boosted by 360 Capital’s final distribution of 4.8¢.

ANI’s shares closed down 0.02¢ to $2.36 and 360 Capital were unchanged at $2.34 per security.

Moelis is advising on Tony Pitt’s 360 Capital Industrial Fund offer, which controls 36 per cent of the Fife Capital Fund-managed ANI stock. At stake is the ANI trust run by Allan Fife, which was listed in October 2013 and owns 16 warehouse and industrial properties worth $330.1 million.

UBS and Fort Street Advisors are working with ANI’s independent directors.

The assets are spread across the country including Ingleburn, leased to Post and Erskine Park, Sydney, Keon Park, Melbourne and across Perth.

The battle is being fought amid forecasts that more mergers and acquisitions could beset the real estate investment trust sector. One being touted by brokers is a possible tilt at Mirvac, possibly from an overseas-based investor looking for a foothold into the n residential market, where Mirvac has a high exposure.

There is also to conclusion soon to the Morgan Stanley sale of its management rights in the Investa Commercial Property Fund, which is expected soon.

Mr Pitt has said since he made the first offer in December 2014 that he was committed to making the deal work, but so far has not met with any enthusiasm from ANI’s independent directors.

Last week to try and wrestle control 360 Capital lodged another request for a meeting to vote out Fife as the manager of ANI. That meeting is scheduled for October 26 and was called to “prevent Fife Funds from charging ANI unitholders further costs in protecting Fife Funds’ management rights”.

In the latest letter to ANI investors, ANI’s independent chairman Rod Pearse repeated that no action is required by ANI unitholders at this time.

“Since the cash proposal was first announced, the consortium [Redefine and Pivotal] has been progressing its due diligence investigations and has been focused on satisfying the pre-conditions to a binding formal offer,” Mr Pearse said.

The consortium has stated that it expects all remaining pre-conditions can be satisfied by Friday October 9 and, subject to the satisfaction of those pre-conditions, it is proposing to release a bidder’s statement prior to October 24.

One of the conditions in the new cash offer was the agreement of a market standard break fee. However, Mr Pearse said the no assurances have been made that a break fee will be provided and this will be discussed with the consortium and its advisers in the coming days.

“Fife Funds intends to continue to engage with the consortium to progress the cash proposal so that a viable cash alternative to the predominately scrip offer made by 360 Capital Investment Management can be put to ANI unit holders in a timely manner,” Mr Pearse said.

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