31/01/2006 - 21:00

Becton puts plans to the vote

31/01/2006 - 21:00

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Two Perth office buildings may soon be placed on the market, with unit holders in the May Holman Centre and 111 St Georges Terrace (formerly the AXA building) being asked to vote on their stake in the buildings’ future.

Becton puts plans to the vote

Two Perth office buildings may soon be placed on the market, with unit holders in the May Holman Centre and 111 St Georges Terrace (formerly the AXA building) being asked to vote on their stake in the buildings’ future.

Both properties are held in separate unit trusts and are managed by Becton Investment Management, an arm of the Becton Group, which listed on the Australian Stock Exchange last year.

Becton acquired the management of the two buildings when it took over Glenmont Properties Limited in late 2004.

A Becton spokesperson told WA Business News the company would be talking to investors in the trusts in the next two months in order to determine the future of the two properties.

Options include sale, refurbishment, and in the case of the May Holman centre, conversion into residential apartments.

It is understood that 111 St Georges Terrace could fetch more than $60 million, giving a healthy capital gain to investors. Glenmont paid $42.5 million for the building in 2001, raising $24.4 million of that.

The May Holman Centre may not prove to be such a profitable investment, however.

The 16-storey building was bought for $23 million in 2000, recently valued at $16.25 million, and has an estimated value of $10.2 million at the end of 2007.

Consequently, the 291 investors who bought into the trust and have an average holding of $43,000 have been asked for their views on what should happen with the site.

The building is currently 100 per cent occupied by the state government, and will be vacated at the end of 2007.

Becton has made several significant acquisitions in Western Australia during the past year, including the major retail acquisition of 50 per cent of Southlands Shopping Centre for $37 million, the other half of which is also held by another Becton trust.

The company is also responsible for last year’s two biggest industrial acquisitions – Spearwood Distribution Park for $24.5 million, and 245 Balcatta Road for $14.5 million.

Becton has more than $700 million in funds under management, with nearly half of its assets in WA through the company’s retail, industrial or office trusts, as well as a further 17 single property trusts.

Single asset trusts in WA beside 111 St Georges Terrace and the May Holman Centre include: Havelock House in West Perth; the Transport Building at 441 Murray Street; the other 50 per cent of Southlands Boulevard; Subiaco Square Shopping Centre; and the Australian Federal Police Building on Murray Street.

Most other WA assets held by Becton in their general trusts are industrial.

Becton also has a 50 per cent interest in the Accor Premiere Vacation Club (APVC), a timeshare joint venture with Accor Asia Pacific

Late last year, APVC announced it had bought 8,000 square metres of land next to the Novotel Vines Resort in the Swan Valley for $1.2 million, and is planning 40 time-share apartments at a total cost of about $12 million.

In addition, the group bought Basildene Manor in Margaret River for $4.5 million, with the same amount set aside for extensions.

During the last two months of 2005 the company’s share price rapidly climbed to peak at 64 cents in December, before closing at 52 cents at the time WA Business News went to press.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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