Harry Triguboff considers Meriton succession as takeover interest grows in Asia

Meriton boss Harry Triguboff, who turned 80 earlier this month, is considering the possibility of one day handing over the reins of his billion dollar company to his four grandchildren.

However, he has no intentions of retiring from a business that has propelled him from humble beginnings as a taxi driver to the seventh-richest person in Australia.

Grand-daughter Ella Lankry is already well entrenched in the family business as the company’s marketing director while the remaining grandchildren are still at university.

“They will be finishing in a year’s time. We shall see how they perform,” Triguboff said in an interview with BRW magazine.

“What I do is from time to time I give my children and grandchildren some properties. It’s in their name. So whatever happens to me at least they will have their own property.”

While Triguboff hasn’t ruled out listing Meriton, the company has generally steered clear of entering into business partnerships or joint ventures in the past and Triguboff dismisses recent speculation of a future partnership with property group, Stockland.

“They’re a lovely company, but they have a different culture,” Triguboff says.

“The problem with Meriton is we have never been really involved with others, we have got our own way. We have some difficulties combining with someone else,” he adds.

The Street Talk column of the Australian Financial Review speculates there are a number of Asian parties keen to pick up a “large Australian presence in one swoop.”

It reported today the interested Asian bidders had contacted Australian banks to talk about the situation.

“Asian investors are said to be attracted to changes that have occurred in Triguboff’s business.

“Meriton has moved away from the capital intensive build-and-sell structure towards being an asset manager.

“More than 70% of Meriton’s revenue now comes from income-producing assets,” the AFR column noted.

Triguboff will continue to be kept busy.

Last month he announced a $100 million land acquisition for a site in Mascot that could have up to 1,000 apartments over the next four years, and he further estimates another 8,000 apartments in the building pipeline to be completed on other projects.

His first apartment block at Tempe has show more than respectable price growth and rental yields over the five decades.

This article first appeared on LeadingCompany‘s sister site, Property Observer.

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