Home Consortium will merge its large format retail investment trust with Aventus Group in a $2.2-billion deal.
The merger, backed by both boards, will bring together the portfolios of HomeCo Daily Needs REIT (HDN) and Aventus Group (AVN) to create a $4.1-billion portfolio of last-mile logistics infrastructure.
Home Consortium chief executive David Di Pilla said the strategically aligned transaction would deliver for unitholders of both REITs.
“The combination of HDN and AVN creates a leading ASX-listed daily needs REIT with a highly strategic $4.1-billion portfolio of last-mile logistics infrastructure in Australia’s leading metropolitan growth corridors,” Di Pilla said.
“This transaction is consistent with our strategy to build high-quality portfolios exposed to powerful megatrends and enhanced by best-in-class management teams.
“For HMC, the transaction demonstrates the scalability of our platform and our ability to execute large scale M&A transactions to significantly grow external assets under management (AUM) … HMC [is] well ahead of its stated target to grow external AUM to $5bn by the end of 2022.”
The merged group would manage 2.5 million sq m of land with site coverage of about 38 per cent, representing strong land banking and development opportunities in high-population growth areas including Parramatta, Melbourne’s growth corridors and Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
There are about $50 million of projects under development and more than $300 million in expansion opportunities.
The merged portfolio of 51 properties is spread across Australia with almost half (45 per cent) in New South Wales.
Aventus chairman Bruce Carter said the merger was “attractive” for Aventus shareholders.
“After careful consideration the Aventus board has concluded that the merger is in the best interests of Aventus security holders and unanimously recommends that Aventus security holders vote in favour of the merger,” Carter said.
Under the terms of the merger Aventus security holders would receive 2.2 HDN units per AVN security, or about $3.53 per Aventus security.
Under the scheme implementation deed, HomeCo will acquire all AVN securities via schemes of arrangement, subject to approval of shareholders of both AVN and HDN.
The merger would be implemented in February next year.