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MELBOURNE-Cromwell Corp. has plans for a new $A1-billion ($US757.3 million) stapled property group, to be created by merging its flagship Cromwell Diversified Property Trust with five other Cromwell managed syndicates. The new entity would be called the Cromwell Group.

Cromwell chairman Paul Weightman says the new group would be an internally managed Australian property owner with operations in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory. “If approved, the merger and stapling will build scale and fully integrate the core business activities of Cromwell, CDPT and the five syndicates, positioning the Cromwell Group to take advantage of future growth opportunities,” he states.

The group is expected to have a market capitalization of up to $A780 million ($591 million), with property assets throughout Australia valued at more than $A1 billion ($757 million). Cromwell has forecast an annualized distribution of nine Australian cents per stapled security for the period ending June 30, 2007, if the proposals are successful.

An independent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that the merger and stapling proposals would be in the best interests of the company’s shareholders. The proposals are unanimously supported by the directors of both Cromwell and Cromwell Property Securities.

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