Singapore-based real estate investment trust SPH Reit Management is acquiring a 50 per cent stake in Australian shopping mall Westfield Marion Shopping Centre for A$670 million ($460 million) in what could be this year’s highest-priced shopping centre deal in South Australia.
In a disclosure to the Singapore Exchange, SPH Reit said its wholly-owned subsidiary, Marion Sub Trust, has entered into an agreement with Lendlease-managed Australian Prime Property Fund (APPF) Retail for the acquisition of the stake in the shopping mall, which includes 136,837 square meters of area and parking for 5,549 vehicles.
Westfield Marion, located about 13 kilometres southwest of the Adelaide CBD, is the largest and the only super-regional shopping centre in South Australia. It attracts a footfall of 13.5 million annual visitors and enjoys occupancy of 99.3 per cent.
Its tenant base includes national retailers such as David Jones, Myer, Harris Scarfe, Target, Kmart, Big W, Bunnings Warehouse, Coles, Woolworths, Aldi, and Events.
Scentre Group Limited, the current co-owner of the shopping mall, will be SPH Reit’s joint venture partner when the deal is completed by the end of this year.
The shopping centre was sold at a discount of 2.9 per cent to APPF Retail’s 30 September 2019 book value of A$690m ($473 million).
SPH Reit said the acquisition is in line with its strategy of acquiring retail properties in the Asia Pacific that complement its existing portfolio. Last December, the company had announced plans to acquire an 85 per cent stake in a shopping centre south of Sydney for $124.5 million.
“The acquisition deepens SPH Reit’s presence in the Australian market and follows on from our first asset acquisition of Figure Grove Shopping Centre in December 2018,” said SPH Reit Management CEO Susan Leng Mee Yin.
SPH REIT primarily invests in real estate used for retail purposes. Its portfolio includes Paragon, The Clementi Mall, and The Rail Mall with an aggregate net lettable area of approximately 960,000 sq ft.