M&G Real Estate has sold the Casey Central shopping centre in Australia to a Hong Kong-based property investor, The JY Group, and Sydney-based Haben Property Fund, for A$225m (€142m).

The British investor acquired Casey Central for $221m in 2016 from Scentre Group after it was redeveloped in a A$155m upgrade.

James MacKinnon, head of Australia real estate at M&G Investments, said: “The asset had shown incredible resilience through a challenging last 12 months, and we have been very pleased with its performance over our period of ownership.”

MacKinnon told IPE Real Assets: “According to our records, it has set a new benchmark for sub-regional shopping centres in Australia.”

Asked if M&G will reinvest the proceeds in Australia, he responded: “As part of our Asia Pacific core strategy, we will continue to invest where we see value in developed markets in Asia Pacific. Our APAC core strategy continues to see opportunities in the logistics and build-to-rent sector.”

He said after the sale of Casey Central, M&G had just one retail asset in Australia.

It still owns a 25% interest in Melbourne’s super-regional shopping centre, known as Westfield, in metropolitan Melbourne, which it acquired in 2016 for about A$220m.

M&G’s other co-investors in the Westfield centre are the superannuation industry asset manager, ISPT, and Scentre Group.

Casey Centre is the second joint acquisition for The JY Group and Haben, founded by Harold and Ben Finger, a father-and-son team. The partners bought another shopping complex, The Pines, in Melbourne earlier this year for A$150m.

The JY Group entered the Australian market in 2019. Its first retail asset, Brimbank in Melbourne, was followed by the Cairns Hotel in northern Queensland.

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