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Valad board backs Blackstone buyout

IT TOOK investors just over 30 minutes yesterday to pass control of the now-defunct Valad Property Group to the US Blackstone Group.

IT TOOK investors just over 30 minutes yesterday to pass control of the now-defunct Valad Property Group to the US Blackstone Group.

At the meeting, attended by more investment bankers and advisers than Valad unit holders, 95 per cent of the register voted "yes" to the scheme of arrangement.

Helping to push the deal over the line was the report by independent expert, KPMG, which concluded that, in the absence of a superior proposal, the "scheme is not fair, but is reasonable and is in the best interests of Valad security holders".

Yesterday, Valad's independent chairman Trevor Gerber told the meeting the Blackstone deal had the unanimous backing of the board and senior management. Blackstone will take the scheme to the New South Wales Supreme Court for final approval. Once that has been received, Valad will cease trading on August 12.

Valad was founded by Stephen Day and Barry Wynne in 1995. Shortly afterwards Peter Hurley joined as chief executive.

The company was floated in 2002 by Macquarie Bank at $1. During its rise, Valad's shares hit a high of $42.92 (before last year's 20-1 share consolidation, making it equal to $2.14 ) and then plummeted to a low of $1.78 (8? before the consolidation).

In April, Blackstone offered investors $1.80 after the consolidation. The deal was pre-empted by Blackstone buying out $165 million of Valad's convertible notes from Kimco Realty.


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