27/02/2007 - 22:00

Axiom Properties on a path to a new age

27/02/2007 - 22:00

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Perth-based property developer Axiom Properties Ltd has capped off a big month in February, taking a 17 per cent slice of Queensland property investment and development company, Eumundi Group Ltd, for $4.3 million.

Axiom Properties on a path to a new age

Perth-based property developer Axiom Properties Ltd has capped off a big month in February, taking a 17 per cent slice of Queensland property investment and development company, Eumundi Group Ltd, for $4.3 million.

The deal follows Axiom's $66.1 million joint venture acquisition of The Age newspaper site last week, with the Industry Superannuation Property Trust No.3, all of which is good news for major Axiom shareholder Pivot Group.

Axiom has launched a one-for-one share bid for the balance of Eumundi, which has a market capitalisation of $22 million.

Axiom  executive director Ben Laurence said that, while it had only a small commercial development in Queensland, Axiom was confident about the state's future and intended to keep the Eumundi office, provided its bid was successful.

In Melbourne, the purchase and mixed-use development scheme for the 15,200 square metre site, is part of Pivot’s long-term vision to fortify the junior property player and diversify its development portfolio.

Mr Laurance said the size, promi-nence and location of the site would enable the partners to transform it from The Age site to the ‘New Age’ site.

“We believe that the site is directly in the path of the new growth centre of the Melbourne CBD and adjoins a massive, newly developed retail, office and residential facilities around the Spencer Street station,” he said.

The Age will lease back all of the buildings on the property for three years, providing the joint venture partners with a return of 6.5 per cent per annum while planning the redevelopment.

The newspaper will eventually relocate to the Docklands precinct. 

ISPT chief executive Daryl Browning said the acquisition ideally suited the new opportunity fund, which was formed last year to undertake a diverse range of developments.

Mr Laurance said Axiom’s participation in the deal with ISPT proved that its strategic alliance with Pivot Group (headed by his father Peter) ensured it had the capacity to assess and take on profitable projects of all sizes across Australia.

Pivot and Axiom signed a strategic alliance in September 2006 after Pivot’s seven-month fight with Macquarie Bank for control of Axiom ended in April following a shareholder vote.

After emerging the victor, Pivot agreed to provide Axiom with the first right to acquire each development project within Pivot’s national pipeline of projects.

It’s not the first time Axiom and ISPT have partnered up. The pair signed on to a joint venture agreement with Pivot last year on the $200 million office component of the Century City development at 100 St Georges Terrace, Perth.

The project is reportedly on target to be completed by December 2008 and will comprise a 12,000sq m, three level shopping centre, with a 17-storey 30,000sq m office building above, likely to be anchored by NAB.

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