Newsroom

30 Oct 2019 • Australian Financial Review Morrow Sodali kicks off Cromwell Property pitch

It's proxy firms at 10-paces as Cromwell Property Group steps up its battle against renegade shareholder ARA Real Estate Investors.


Cromwell has hired the big gun of the local proxy solicitation scene, Morrow Sodali, and kicked off its pitch to investors on Wednesday.


It is understood the key message was that investors should stick with Cromwell's board and vote in Lisa Scenna and Tanya Cox as independent non-executive directors and reject ARA's nominee Gary Weiss.


Investors were told ARA was a competitor to Cromwell, as much as it was an investor, and had been advocating changes to the strategy that were both unwarranted and unwelcome.


At the end of the day, Cromwell's pitch was about trust. And its pitch was underpinned by the fact its securities had easily outperformed the sector on a one, three, and five year basis, when compared to the S&P/ASX 300 A-REIT Accumulation Index.


They were asked whether CBA would allow an associate of National Australia Bank into its boardroom. [It must be noted Weiss is not a director or executive at ARA but is its nominee and on the board of Straits Trading Company, which is a major ARA shareholder].


Of course ARA has its own comebacks to those points, and more. And ARA has hired rival solicitation firm Georgeson to help make its point.


ARA reckons Cromwell shares are propped up by a takeover premium, which it would argue is not warranted, while the ASX-listed company's European expansion strategy had materially increased its risk profile.

It has its proxy advisers pointing to Valad Europe, which was acquired by Cromwell in 2015, which has been written down in the company's accounts.

It's sure to be an interesting month for both camps as they try to win investor support ahead of the November 28 annual general meeting.

ARA is sure to vote its stake for Weiss - and the question is whether it can get enough support from other investors. Haiyi Holdings, which is not linked to ARA and has close to a 10 per cent stake, is sure to have a big say in the outcome.

Read the article here https://www.afr.com/street-talk/morrow-sodali-kicks-off-cromwell-property-pitch-20191030-p535kz

30 Oct 2019 • Australian Financial Review Morrow Sodali kicks off Cromwell Property pitch

It's proxy firms at 10-paces as Cromwell Property Group steps up its battle against renegade shareholder ARA Real Estate Investors.


Cromwell has hired the big gun of the local proxy solicitation scene, Morrow Sodali, and kicked off its pitch to investors on Wednesday.


It is understood the key message was that investors should stick with Cromwell's board and vote in Lisa Scenna and Tanya Cox as independent non-executive directors and reject ARA's nominee Gary Weiss.


Investors were told ARA was a competitor to Cromwell, as much as it was an investor, and had been advocating changes to the strategy that were both unwarranted and unwelcome.


At the end of the day, Cromwell's pitch was about trust. And its pitch was underpinned by the fact its securities had easily outperformed the sector on a one, three, and five year basis, when compared to the S&P/ASX 300 A-REIT Accumulation Index.


They were asked whether CBA would allow an associate of National Australia Bank into its boardroom. [It must be noted Weiss is not a director or executive at ARA but is its nominee and on the board of Straits Trading Company, which is a major ARA shareholder].


Of course ARA has its own comebacks to those points, and more. And ARA has hired rival solicitation firm Georgeson to help make its point.


ARA reckons Cromwell shares are propped up by a takeover premium, which it would argue is not warranted, while the ASX-listed company's European expansion strategy had materially increased its risk profile.

It has its proxy advisers pointing to Valad Europe, which was acquired by Cromwell in 2015, which has been written down in the company's accounts.

It's sure to be an interesting month for both camps as they try to win investor support ahead of the November 28 annual general meeting.

ARA is sure to vote its stake for Weiss - and the question is whether it can get enough support from other investors. Haiyi Holdings, which is not linked to ARA and has close to a 10 per cent stake, is sure to have a big say in the outcome.

Read the article here https://www.afr.com/street-talk/morrow-sodali-kicks-off-cromwell-property-pitch-20191030-p535kz