GPT confirms sale of half stake in Erina Fair shopping centre to Asian interests for $397.1 million

GPT has confirmed the sale of its 50% interest in the Erina Fair shopping centre, on the NSW Central Coast, for $397.1 million.

Previous media reports had named the buyer as the National Pension Service of South Korea.

GPT did not name the buyer saying only that it sold to a client of Lend Lease Investment Management, a Singapore-based division of the property development giant.

The sale was negotiated by Simon Rooney of Jones Lang LaSalle, who said the sale "reflects a current situation of deep, liquid capital markets - backed by swelling demand from various domestic wholesale and superannuation investors, together with offshore pension and sovereign wealth funds - as they continue to up-weight their exposure to core, direct real estate in Australia". 

"Since the start of 2011, these investors have acquired $5.7 billion worth of part interests in major retail assets at or above book value.

"A-REITs have been the primary driver on the sell side – as they implement the strategy of selling down part shares in major assets while retaining management and development control, in order to redeploy capital into their development pipelines and subsequently, drive the return on their equity invested," Rooney says.

Lend Lease Investment Management has a portfolio under management of around $13.2 billion comprising property assets across unlisted funds, joint ventures and separate mandates in Asia, Australia and Europe.

Australian Prime Property Fund – Retail, a Lend Lease unlisted wholesale fund, owns the remaining 50%, with the mall managed by Lend Lease.

CEO and managing director Michael Cameron said GPT had capitalised on the strong interest from domestic and overseas investors in quality Australian property assets.

“This solid demand has allowed GPT to realise the value of this asset and continue to progress its strategy to move to a more balanced portfolio weighting,” Mr Cameron said.

“In the past year we have effectively executed this remixing strategy moving retail from 61% of the portfolio to 54%, inclusive of this latest transaction. We continue to investigate further opportunities for investment in Office and Logistics & Business Parks,” he said.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer


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