FREEHILLS is advising long-time client Abacus on a proposal to merge the listed Abacus Property Group (ABP) with the unlisted Abacus Storage Fund (ASF).
If approved by securityholders, the merger will take effect by way of stapling ABP and ASF securities to create a new listed A-REIT with total assets of approximately $2.1 billion.
ASF is the largest unlisted fund managed by ABP, with a $332 million portfolio of storage assets, one of Australasia’s largest storage portfolios. The merger will give ABP exposure to the ASF portfolio, while providing liquidity for ASF securityholders.
Freehills partner Justin O’Farrell led the team working with Abacus along with solicitor Laura Walsh.
“Stapled structures allow entities with differing income and asset profiles to maintain distribution efficiencies while operating as a single co-ordinated group. In the right circumstances (such as this) a merger by stapling is a very effective deal mechanism," O'Farrell said.
In October last year Freehills advised Abacus on a joint venture investment in Australian real estate. The deal was with a private client of AM alpha GmbH, a Munich-based private investment advisory firm. The joint venture acquired 309 George Street Sydney. Freehills partner O'Farrell led the team with solicitor Walsh.