Kirkcaldie & Stains sells profitable Harbour City Centre

BUSINESSDESK: Kirkcaldie & Stains, the Wellington department store owner, has sold its profitable Harbour City Centre building in the capital as it prepares to announce its annual result next week.

The company has entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement with an unnamed buyer, subject to due diligence being completed by November 14, it said in a statement after the close of trading.

The deal is subject to conditional on due diligence and board and shareholder approval of the sale.

Kirkcaldie's Harbour City Centre building has an August 2011 valuation of $46.5 million, which will increase to $48.7 million when earthquake strengthening is completed, according to the company's 2011 accounts. At today's share price of $2.60, the company is valued at $26.7 million.

The Cushing family lifted its stake in the Wellington retailer to 19.99% in June, paying $2.68 a share to increase its stake from 18.49%.

In February, Kirkcaldie told shareholders it was looking to expand its property arm against the backdrop of an unprofitable retail business.

Kirkcaldie turned down a bid for the retail business earlier this year, saying the parties had "substantially different" views on the unit's value.

The company was not immediately available for comment.

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So, it says it is looking to expand its property portfolio to the shareholders and it sells it.. That is odd. Bet they wish they had sold the retail bit when they had the chance.... I give it 6 months before the doors close

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