Blackstone has sold a Melbourne suburban shopping complex for A$256m (€160m) as it continues to sell down its large Australian retail portfolio.

The US private equity firm sold the Forest Hill Chase Shopping Centre and an adjacent ancillary four-storey office building to Australian fund manager Haben and Hong Kong’s JY Group.

Blackstone has owned Forest Hill Chase since 2016 when it acquired it alongside two other suburban shopping centres from the listed real estate company Vicinity Centres for A$613m.

Haben, which focuses exclusively on retail property in Australia, has created a closed-ended fund, Haben Forest Hill Trust, to own the 50% stake in the shopping centre and office building. JY Group will hold the remaining half.

Haben said it was attracted to Forest Hill Chase shopping centre by its location, the nature of its retail offering and the size and forecast growth of its main trade area.

The group said the asset, sited on 10.3 hectares of land with “favourable development controls”, provided opportunity to improve returns and capital growth. It said the 63,000sqm centre generated an 8.9% yield on a fully-leased basis.

Haben and JY Group in the past year have acquired Wollongong Central in New South Wales from a GPT-managed fund for A$402m, and jointly own other Australian shopping centres, including Casey Central in Victoria.

Blackstone has amassed a large portfolio of Australian shopping centres valued at close to A$3.5bn over the past decade.

Five years ago, it sought to exit through a trade sale or an initial public offering, but both options were abandoned, with the owner choosing instead to sell down the assets individually over time.

The most recent sale was Clifford Gardens Shopping Centre in Queensland to a fund managed by Elanor Investors Group, in 2021 for A$145m.