Kirkcaldie & Stain's, the unprofitable Wellington department store operator, said it has hired advisers for the possible spinoff of its property-owning unit, whose asset exceeds the market value of the company.
The move comes after a mystery buyer for its Harbour City Centre on Wellington's Lambton Quay, valued at $46.5 million, walked away from the deal this month.
Kirkcaldie has "appointed external parties to provide advice to the company on the corporate restructuring options to facilitate the separation of Kirkcaldie & Stains Properties," it said in a statement.
"If the restructuring proposal proceeds, it is likely to involve shareholders receiving shares in Kirkcaldie & Stains Properties and holding shares in both companies," it said.
Shares of Kirkcaldie last traded at $3.05, valuing the company at $31 million. The unrecognised value in the company's property assets are lured investors including veteran corporate raider Ron Brierley and former associate Selwyn Cushing.
Any restructuring would be subject to shareholder approval. The company plans to give an update in either late January or early February.
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