Charter Hall Group and two Australian superannuation funds have acquired a A$353m (€218m) portfolio of six Bunnings hardware chain stores in three states.

The investors, including Victoria’s state investment agency, Victoria Funds Management Corporation (VFMC), and TelstraSuper, the super scheme for the leading telecom company, Telstra, are partners of Charter Hall in what is known as the LWHP partnership.

With the latest transaction, the portfolio of LWHP, established some eight years ago, has increased to more than A$1.8bn.

A source involved with one of the super funds told IPE Real Assets: “This investment is very much a key defensive strategy for us. We are attracted to the long leases and secured income from these assets.

“The rents are affordable to our tenants. Rental affordability, particularly in retail, is crucial going forward.”

Apart from LWHP, Charter Hall also manages special mandates from super funds which invest in Bunning stores.

Charter Hall managing director and Group CEO, David Harrison, said: “Across the Charter Hall platform we now have in excess of A$2.4bn invested in 59 Bunnings stores, 50 of which are located in metropolitan locations.”

LWHP fund manager, Ben Ellis, added: “This off-market acquisition extends the Bunnings relationship. It enhances the diversity and breadth of the LWHP partnership, which has been one of our most successful partnerships.” The partnership, he said, had delivered an IRR since inception exceeding 15%.

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