Chinese govt officials to visit Goodman's Highbrook

Chinese government officials will visit Goodman Property Trust's Highbrook Business Park next week.

"They want to see what Goodman's done in other parts of the world," Goodman Property Trust chief executive John Darby told NBR ONLINE.

"We've got a pretty big business in China now, so we're looking to work with some of these local governments and they want to see what we can do as a business in terms of master planning and scale."

Earlier today, unitholders in GPT, the NZX's second-biggest property investor, voted in favour of spending $186.6 million to buy the remaining shares in Highbrook it did not already own.

Goodman shares (NZX: GMT) were unchanged at $1.025, with the company's value sitting at $1.1 billion.

ASX-listed Goodman Group will have a 20% holding in GPT once the Highbrook deal goes through, and new units are issued.

The group's China portfolio grew to 650,000sq m in the third quarter of this year. That will increase to more than 1 million sq m when work on seven projects is finished.

Highbrook has more than 100 hectares of development land at East Tamaki, with 40ha of parks and reserves.

It is about half developed now, Mr Dakin says, and is worth about $650 million.

Once fully developed, he says Highbrook will be worth more than $1 billion and up to 15,000 people will work there – which is roughly the population of Queenstown.

Mr Dakin says the Highbrook deal lifts its holding of non-income generating land from 10% to 12% of its $2 billion portfolio.

"It's not a particular worry. There's a cost to carrying land obviously, because it doesn't generate income.

"But Goodman Group's agreed to defer half of their consideration and that effectively gives us a free carry on that extra land for that period of time while we continue developing and turn it into income-producing assets."

He says distributions should continue at 6.25 cents, although he does not say for what period.

Goodman pays out about 80% of its earnings, with the remainder covering the cost of capitalised interest on development land.

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