Investore to buy back up to 5% of shares on issue; cornerstone investor, manager Stride not interested

Investore's portfolio is dominated by Countdown supermarkets and Bunnings hardware stores. Photo: John Sefton

Large format retail property investor Investore Property will buy back up to 5 percent of its shares on issue, or about $20 million of stock, but cornerstone shareholder and external manager Stride Property won't be taking part.

Auckland-based Investore, whose portfolio is dominated by Countdown supermarkets and Bunnings hardware stores, will start the buyback programme from Aug. 6 for as many as 13.1 million shares which would then be cancelled. The stock rose 0.7 percent today to $1.53.

"The board’s view is that a purchase of the company’s shares at current market prices is an efficient use of balance sheet capacity," chair Mike Allen said in a statement. "Investore is also considering additional capital management initiatives at an appropriate time, which may include a second bond issue."

The real estate investor told shareholders at its June annual meeting a share buyback was a possibility, and indicated it was focusing on potential acquisitions and development of brownfields sites sitting alongside its existing properties.

Investore today said it had discussed the buyback with Stride, from which it was spun out, and that its manager and 19.99 percent shareholder won't participate. Instead, Stride will rely on the Takeovers Code exemption giving it six months to reduce its stake below the 20 percent threshold which would typically trigger the need for a takeover bid to be made.

"Investore will coordinate the pausing of the buyback offer with SPL to enable SPL to commence any required sell down to comply with exemption notice requirements," the company said.

Stride shares slipped 0.5 percent to $1.84.