Orchard rebrands to Arena Investment Management

investment manager funds management chairman

16 February 2012
| By Chris Kennedy |
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Melbourne-based property funds manager Orchard Funds Management has rebranded to Arena Investment Management, effective immediately.

The $1.1 billion manager was acquired and recapitalised at the end of last year by Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing (MSREI), according to a statement.

Arena joint managing director Bryce Mitchelson said the changeover had "significantly strengthened the financial position of the business and fundamentally changed its future prospects, and we wanted the business to be seen in this new light."

The repositioning strategy includes a restructured board, bolstered management team and fund recapitalisation plans involving an investment of over $170 million, the manager stated.

Bryce Mitchelson and James Goodwin are executive directors and joint managing directors on the new board, with Dennis Wildenburg as a non-executive director. Other appointments including a chairman will be made in the coming months, Arena stated.

Arena said it would be offering pro-rata rights issues to existing and new investors in 2012 in the Arena Property Fund (formerly Orchard Diversified Property Fund), Chevron Renaissance Property Trust and Arena Office Fund (formerly Commercial Office Fund).

Arena said it expected that following the rights issues investors would benefit from lower levels of gearing, improved debt terms, the security of a stable investment manager and the recommencement of distributions.

Arena will continue to manage 14 property investment funds, seven of which have been renamed to align with the new brand, the manager stated.

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