Macquarie Group has bought a New Zealand carparks concession from Skycity Entertainment for NZ$220m (€133m).

Casino hotel company Skycity sold the licence to operate the car parks in Auckland until 2048 (when its own gaming licence will expire) to Macquarie’s principal finance arm.

Macquarie Principal Finance will take ownership of 1,960 existing car park spaces and another 1,327 being built on the site of the NZ International Convention Centre.

However, Skycity said it would continue to own the car park land and buildings and to retain responsibility for plant and building services.

Macquarie has appointed an international car park operator, Care Park, to operate the car park site.

Skycity’s chief executive, Graeme Stephens, said the sale of the concession would release capital from a non-core asset for potential investment in new strategic opportunities.

The transaction was consistent with Skycity’s intention and strategy to go “capital lighter”, he said.

In November last year, Skycity sold its Australian casino and resort in Darwin, in Australia’s Northern Territory, to an American company, Delaware North, for A$188m (€119m).

Stephens said that through releasing capital and divesting selected property and other non-core assets, the business planned to recycle capital into higher-returning investments and to pay down debt.