Cromwell and Australian Unity in $1.1bn unlisted fund merger

Cromwell australian unity Property unlisted assets mergers and acquisitions

10 July 2023
| By Laura Dew |
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Cromwell Property Group has entered into a merger implementation deed with Australian Unity Property Ltd.

This will see the Cromwell Direct Property Fund merge with the Australian Unity Diversified Property Fund to create a fund with a well-diversified portfolio of 15 high-quality assets valued at $1.1 billion.

Cromwell has also entered into a share sale and purchase agreement with Australian Unity Limited to acquire Australian Unity Property  for $17 million, on the condition of unitholder approval and implementation of the merger.

If the conditions are met, the merged fund will adopt Cromwell Direct Property Fund’s existing framework and is expected to complete in late 2023.

Cromwell chief investment officer, Rob Percy, said: “The proposed transaction aligns with Cromwell’s strategic exit from non-core assets and recycling of capital to grow Cromwell’s funds under management, adding approximately $425 million in third-party gross assets to our Australian platform. This transaction continues our journey to a capital-light funds management business model and enables us to continue to provide Cromwell investors with long-term stable and risk-adjusted returns.”

Joe Fernandes, chief investment officer and executive general manager, funds management, at Australian Unity, said: “We are excited by this opportunity to merge the Australian Unity Diversified Property Fund with the Cromwell Direct Property Fund to create a combined fund that benefits investors through increased scale, diversification, and income and distribution stability.

“Cromwell’s reputation as a leading real estate funds manager and a custodian of investors’ capital places the combined fund in good stead for future success. We look forward to working with Cromwell to preserve and enhance value for investors.” 

ASX-listed Cromwell has $12 billion in assets under management across Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.

Its Cromwell Phoenix Property Securities Fund was winner of the Australian Property Securities Fund of the Year at this year’s Money Management Fund Manager of the Year Awards.

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