Tilley leads Redcape board overhaul

Redcape is rounding up directors ahead of the ASX listing of some of its hotels.

Pub group Redcape is targeting Orica board member and former Challenger Financial chief executive Michael Tilley to be chairman of the company it plans to list on the Australian Security Exchange, according to industry sources.

Tilley is among directors being sought to oversee more than $1 billion worth property companies preparing to list on the Australian Securities Exchange this year.

GDI Property Group has recruited former Tishman Speyer Office Fund chairman Graham Kelly to the top board position for its newly listed company, and APN has appointed Geoff Brunsdon for its soon-to-be-listed trust.

It is understood Redcape, which owns 42 properties according to its website, was planning to list the pubs that are leased to supermarket giant Coles, with sources saying the fund could begin trading as early as next month, under the guidance of investment banks Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan.

Redcape did not return calls yesterday, but sources said its listing was expected to be worth more than $400 million. Tilley could not be reached for comment. The corporate veteran has been a non-executive director of explosives maker Orica since November 2003, and as well as a four-year stint running Challenger Financial Services until 2008, he is a former member of the Takeovers Panel, a former non-executive director of Incitec and former chairman and chief executive of Merrill Lynch Australasia.

Winston Sammut, managing director of Maxim Asset Management, said the new company chairs had sound backgrounds in in property and finance. However, he said there was room to bring new talent into property company boardrooms. "In the downturn in property, a lot of good people were out, and I think there are people out there who could offer a lot to the boards in terms of experience and knowledge."

Partner at head-hunting firm Conari Partners Matthew Hardy said most real estate groups tried to find a mix of skills among their board members, with finance, legal and property expertise in high demand.

Typically, a company made approaches to a potential board member, with directors identified either through word of mouth or through a head-hunting firm.

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