The board of AXA Property trust, which is currently in the process of winding down its assets, is proposing a change of investment policy which will see it allocate to undervalued British listed securities instead.
The proposals, if approved, will also see the appointment of Worsley Associates as the trust's new investment advisor, and the vehicle's name will change to Worsley Investors Limited. The board believes the changes provide an attractive alternative to shareholders.
The trust embarked on a plan to wind down all remaining assets in April 2013, with the objective to complete the process by the end of 2015. Since then, all but one of the properties have been successfully sold, returning £49.3m to shareholders, equal to 87% of total assets when the process began.
However, the board believes it is in the best interest of shareholders if the trust adopts a new investment policy, which will see it actively investing in undervalued UK-based properties. It also believes Worsley can add value to the process, not least due to the 30-year expertise of its principal, Blake Nixon.
The board said the new policy would "improve prospects for long-term growth in the net asset value of the company".
One reason for the change of policy is that it would avoid the trust becoming a forced seller of the remaining asset (Curno Asset), with the board saying it can gain a better valuation in the future, while it will also avoid incurring costs for winding up its legal structure.
The proposals are subject to approval by shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM). The board has already received indication that shareholders representing some 45% of the trust's issued share capital support the plan.