Sky TV sells Mt Wellington campus for bumper sum

Sky TV has capped a come-back year with the announcement it has sold its Mt Wellington properties for $56 million – and a hint that the windfall could help usher in the return of its long-suspended dividend.

The buyer is Goodman Property Trust.

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The sale is towards the upper end of expectations. Wealth manager Jarden had picked the three properties that form Sky’s 26,500sq m Mt Wellington campus fetch between $50m and $60m.

Sky will lease back two studios on the campus, one for $1.65m year, the other for $1.0m per year (with right of renewal for up to five years), meaning some staff will stay in Mt Wellington. Others will move into the CBD, where from March or April next year Sky is leasing a floor in Auckland Transport’s building on the Viaduct (an office previously occupied by Vodafone NZ, Sky gave up its Parnell sales office during last year’s lockdowns). And some will work from home.

Sky CEO Sophie Moloney told the Herald, “Our approach is to enable many of our crew to work flexibly between Sky’s sites, including Mt Wellington and our new central Auckland workplace, and home, depending on what works best for them and their teams. “

She added, “We’ll be working together with our teams in the new year to confirm how this will work in practice, including taking some of the lessons learned from our Covid lockdown experience and working from home over the last few months.”

A cash settlement is expected to close in early March, Sky said.

The sale caps something of a comeback year for Sky, which recently hiked its full-year profit forecast – earning upgrades form analysts in the process.

The pay-TV broadcaster also says it will enjoy its first profit growth in five years this financial year as streaming gains outweigh the losses in its satellite business for the first time.

Sky also reiterated today that it will review its capital structure, including the possible resumption of dividends, in February.

Shares closed yesterday at $2.63.

The stock, which had a 10:1 consolidation in September, is up 63 per cent for the year.

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