Dexus Wholesale Property Fund (DWPF) has doubled its holding in the Westfield Warringah Mall in Australia with the acquisition of a 25% stake from the AMP Shopping Centre Fund for around A$410m (€264m).

The fund, managed by Dexus, already owned a 25% stake in the mall at Brookvale in Sydney’s northern beaches. The remaining 50% is held by Scentre Group.

Michael Sheffield, DWPF fund manager, told IPE Real Assets that one of the benefits of increasing the ownership interest to 50% meant that DWPF would be in a better position to shape the future of the centre with its preferred joint venture partner, Scentre Group.

“We are strategically aligned with Scentre Group, being their largest joint venture partner,” he said.

Asked his opinion of prospects for retail, Sheffield said: “Compared with office or industrial, retail assets are relatively good value today.

“We are a diversified fund, and we can see opportunities in office, industrial and retail. Retail has been obviously impacted by thematics such as online shopping.

“But we are past the worst of the pandemic, and we can see that the economy is reasonably strong with positive consumer and business confidence with pent-up demand and elevated levels of savings.

“We see the future of retail as quite bright and there is still an important role for the physical retail asset.”

Sheffield said Dexus regarded the investment as “a long-term play” and one from which it could extract value over time.

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