March 26, 2020 / 1:05 AM / 10 days ago

NZ's Augusta Capital says Centuria withdrew buyout offer, shares drop

March 26 (Reuters) - New Zealand’s Augusta Capital on Thursday said Centuria Capital Group pulled out of its NZ$180 million ($104 million) buyout offer for the real-estate investment firm.

Australia-based fund manager Centuria Capital had made the bid in January, but has decided to withdraw from it amid volatile market conditions due to the uncertainty and economic disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Augusta’s shares dropped 8.3% to NZ$1.10 after the announcement and were trading at almost half the value of the offer price.

However, Centuria kept the door open for a future deal, saying it “has a long-term view regarding attractiveness of New Zealand property funds management sector and it may seek to enter this market as conditions stabilise.”

The highly contagious coronavirus has prompted nationwide shutdowns and wreaked havoc on business operations globally, leading advisers and bidders to rethink deal-making in such an environment.

In Australia, the future of the acquisition of Village Roadshow Ltd is now up in the air, while Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management has put the $2 billion sale of its Australian coal export terminal on ice, according to sources.

$1 = 1.7244 New Zealand dollars Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath

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