29/08/2014 - 13:59

Aspen nears end of commercial sell-off

29/08/2014 - 13:59

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Aspen Group has just one major asset remaining in its commercial property portfolio, after completing the sale of its Noble Park warehouse property in Victoria for $20.8 million.

Aspen chief executive Clem Salwin.

Aspen Group has just one major asset remaining in its commercial property portfolio, after completing the sale of its Noble Park warehouse property in Victoria for $20.8 million.

Aspen said the sale came at a premium of $500,000 to the property’s carrying value at the end of June.

Chief executive Clem Salwin said the premium was due to Aspen’s recent successful leasing management of the property.

“The sale leaves our industrial property at Spearwood as the last of the major non-core assets, where our immediate asset management focus remains on leasing,” he said.

The Noble Park sale was brokered by commercial real estate agency Knight Frank, and followed the divestment in March of the group’s 50 per cent stake in the ATO Building in Adelaide for $29.5 million and the $91 million sale of the Septimus Roe office tower on Adelaide Terrace.

Aspen earlier this week reported an $82 million net loss, which included a $63.5 million impairment charge relating to the value of its Aspen Parks Property Fund portfolio.

The company said it would seek to bolster its balance sheet through a $40 million capital raising, offering one new share for every two held in the fund, at an issue price of 49 cents.

The Spearwood property, which is currently anchor tenanted by Leighton Contractors, also suffered a $14 million hit to its value, announced to market in July. Going off its December 31 book value, the Spearwood asset is now worth about $67 million.

It comprises more than 100,000 square metres of industrial warehouse space on a 29-hectare site.

Leighton, however, is expected to find new premises after its lease expires in December.

At 1:30PM, WST, Aspen Group shares were up 0.4 per cent, trading at $1.27.

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