PMP hoping to cash in on portfolio deal

PRINTER and publisher PMP is moving to capitalise on strong investor demand for industrial portfolios with the sale and leaseback of four facilities across Australia.

PRINTER and publisher PMP is moving to capitalise on strong investor demand for industrial portfolios with the sale and leaseback of four facilities across Australia.

The portfolio is said to be worth about $75 million and will appeal to industrial developers such as the Goodman Group, Dexus and GPT, among others.

CBRE has been appointed as the exclusive selling agent for the PMP portfolio, which includes properties at Moorebank in NSW, Clayton in Victoria, Wacol in Queensland and Bibra Lake in Western Australia. The sale will be managed by the senior director for industrial investment properties at CBRE, Angus Klem, and senior managing director, Matt Haddon.

Under the plan, the assets will be sold individually or in one line on leasebacks ranging from five to 12 years, with an average lease of about nine years. The portfolio has a gross net lettable area of more than 100,000 square metres.

The deal follows PMP's report of a net loss of $24.5 million for the year to June 30, compared to a loss of $11.3 million last year.

The chief executive of PMP, Richard Allely, attributed the loss to the market conditions, which he described as challenging, with falling volumes in publishing and directories exacerbated by a weak retail market.

He said margins were under pressure in all businesses, with major contracts being fiercely contested. Net debt at the year-end was $143.3 million compared to $141 million last year.

To offset the weak environment, the group aimed to reduce costs by an initial $40 million, and has about $32 million of annualised savings in the second phase of a restructure.

"This program has a fundamental strategy of lowering the capital intensity of Print Australia and delivers both lower cost of operations and a reduced need for future capital expenditure," the company said. PMP will reduce its number of presses from 21 to 15.

Mr Klem said the size and spread of the property portfolio would underpin interest in the sales.

"The institutional market is looking for geographical diversity and scale, which this portfolio provides along with a very attractive lease profile," he said.

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