Australian mall owner Vicinity divests two non-core assets for A$195.5m

Australian shopping centre owner Vicinity Centres has sold two more non-core assets for A$195.5m (€121.8m).

Vicinity has sold a 25% interest in Mt Ommaney Centre in suburban Brisbane for $A95.4m to YFG Shopping Centres and has sold the Corio Central asset in Geelong in regional Victoria to a consortium led by the Melbourne-based IP Generation for A$101m.

The assets were sold at a 0.5% discount to their combined June 2019 book values. JP Morgan REIT research team noted that two assets were devalued 13% and 19% in the past financial year.

Vicinity’s CEO and managing director, Grant Kelley, said the group had achieved solid pricing for the assets and spoke of “improved investor demand” in the sector after Vicinity announced in August 2019 that it would not proceed with any further material divestments in the current environment.

“The sale of these non-core assets is in line with our strategy of focussing our portfolio on market-leading destinations,” Kelley said.

Excluding the latest divestment, the shopping centre owner has sold 37 centres around Australia, yielding a total of A$3.3bn.

It now runs a platform of 62 assets, valued at A$15.8bn in June this year, on behalf of institutional investors and pension funds, as well as its listed vehicle, Vicinity Centres.

Kelley said: “The transaction will further strengthen our balance sheet, with around a 90 basis point reduction in gearing, with the proceeds assumed to repay debt in the short term.”

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  • Vicinity Corio Central

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