Listed property funds have struggled in recent years as a sharp rise in borrowing costs and emptying post-pandemic offices have driven a slump in commercial real estate values and a surge in clients pulling money from property-focused funds.

The tough conditions have led some real estate funds to pursue tie-ups to bolster their finances.

Abrdn Property Income Trust (API) said that while a majority of its shareholders voted to back a merger with rival Custodian Property Income REIT (CREI), the proposal failed to reach the 75% support threshold required.

"In view of these results and the challenges that API would continue to experience as a standalone company, the API board will now take steps to implement a managed wind-down," API said in a statement.

API said it would aim to deliver "enhanced returns" to shareholders, but a spokesperson said the returns from asset sales would likely be lower than if they were marketed as normal. The wind-down is also subject to approval from API shareholders.

CREI said in a statement that it was disappointed by the outcome, but said the merger had not been critical to its strategy.

($1 = 0.7920 pounds)

(Reporting by Iain Withers; Editing by Bernadette Baum)