Australian real estate investment trust GPT Group is selling its 50% stake in the MLC Centre, a deal which sources expect to fetch more than AUD800m (€504.1m).

GPT valued the central Sydney asset on its balance sheet at AUD725m at June 30, 2018. The group has since revalued its office portfolio, which saw a 5% uplift in value to AUD761.25m.

Dexus and its wholesale property fund are equal owners of the remaining 50% of MLC Centre, which they purchased in 2017 from QIC Global Real Estate for AUD722.5m.

Sources told IPE Real Assets that GPT would notify its co-owners that the asset is for sale, and that they would then have 60 days to exercise their pre-emptive rights to buy the half of the property they do not own. If they declined, the stake would be offered to the open market.

A source told IPE Real Assets: “Dexus does not speculate on market chatter, but it does actively sweep the market for acquisition opportunities for both the group and investors in funds under its management.”

When QIC offered its stake in the 62-storey MLC Building for sale, it attracted a strong field of local and foreign contenders.  Names mentioned at the time included Blackstone and Morgan Stanley, along with Charter Hall and other domestic groups.

A senior industry source said it was likely that some of those who missed out on MLC Centre last time could try again to get hold of the building.

GPT’s chief executive, Bob Johnston, said: “The Sydney CBD office market has experienced significant rental growth and cap rate compression over the past five years.

“The group’s successful repositioning of the asset has generated exceptional returns for GPT.”

Johnston said GPT planned to reinvest proceeds from the sale into its development pipeline.

“The group will also continue to seek new logistics development opportunities following completion of a number of successful developments over the past two years,” he added.