Australian quoted property company Stockland has made a £171m bid for AIM-listed property company Halladale, it was announced this morning.
The Sydney-based investor, one of Australia’s 50 biggest quoted companies with more than A$10bn (£3.95bn) of assets under management and a A$17bn (£6.71bn) development pipeline, has offered 225p a share to buy Halladale in its first UK purchase.
The offer, which represents a 33.9% premium to Halladale’s share price at the close of trading yesterday, has been recommended by Halladale’s board and management team, including chief executive David Lockhart. Lockhart and his team are expected to join Stockland following completion of the deal.
The takeover bid comes less than five months after Stockland told its shareholders it was looking to create an offshore investment arm, and that a break into the UK property market was its utmost priority.
Lockhart said: ‘At the time we were approached by Stockland, we were contemplating our various strategies for taking Halladale to the next level. We are excited about joining Stockland and using our complementary skills to significantly grow the business in the coming years.’
Stockland managing director Matthew Quinn added: ‘When we announced our UK intentions last year, we advised the market that we would initially look to invest around 5% of our total asset base, and this acquisition fits well with our strategy. There is a gap in the UK market in the development of integrated mixed-use space and the Halladale platform gives us the opportunity to exploit this.’