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First property trust for new market

First property trust for new market

BAKER & MCKENZIE advised Australian Social Infrastructure Fund (ASIF) on its listing on the Australia Pacific Exchange (APX) on 22 June, the first property trust listing on the APX.Lead partner…

BAKER & MCKENZIE advised Australian Social Infrastructure Fund (ASIF) on its listing on the Australia Pacific Exchange (APX) on 22 June, the first property trust listing on the APX.

Lead partner on the deal Richard Lustig said it was the first time he had advised on a listing on the new APX, which he said was similar to the London Alternative Investment Market (AIM), as it was aimed at small to medium sized companies.

Lustig was assisted by partner Lewis Apostolou.

APX imposes fewer costs and logistical constraints on listings, he said, which made it easier for companies to enter the market, as well as more assistance to companies that list.

“On AIM, they have what they call a “Nomad” [nominated adviser], which is a bit like a sponsoring broker. It is someone who looks after the company, and effectively takes some ownership to ensure that it behaves itself,” he said.

“What the sponsoring broker does in Australia is provide a bit of market research and support and effectively acts as a corporate adviser, so it is a little bit more of a self-regulatory role.”

ASIF listed with a market capitalisation of $80 million. The fund was established in 2001 and invests in assets “from which services to the community are provided”.

These include childcare facilities, schools, hospitals, medical centres, aged care facilities, car parks and self storage companies.

For instance, the fund has investments in 57 Childcare Centres leased to ABC Learning Centres Ltd, one self-storage facility leased to Guardian Storage, a medical centre leased to Primary Health Care, and a 15 per cent interest in the CIB Fund, which owns nine police stations and two courthouses leased to the Victorian Government.

“The listing provides a secondary trading mechanism for ASIF investors in a transparent and more liquid context,” said Vin Harink, CEO of Austock Property Management Ltd, the “responsible entity” for ASIF.

“It also provides a potential springboard for ASIF to grow moving forward through future share issues in a listed environment.”

Lustig said the deal took only a month to complete as Bakers had been involved in the purchase of Ceramic Funds Management Ltd by Austock. Ceramic was the original responsible entity for ASIF.

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