SPH REIT pays Lendlease fund A$670m for South Australia mall stake

Singapore-based SPH REIT has bought a 50% stake in South Australia shopping mall Marion Westfield for A$670m (€417m).

The vendor of the central Adelaide mall stake was the Australian Prime Property Fund (APPF) – Retail, a wholesale fund managed by Lendlease.

APPF was forced to put its half of what is the largest shopping centre in South Australia up for sale in April to meet redemption requests from institutional investors.

The A$4.36bn fund had until November 2020 to satisfy redemption requests, totalling around A$2.3bn.

The shopping centre was sold at a discount of 2.9% to APPF Retail’s 30 September 2019 book value of A$690m.

David McNamara, APPF-Retail fund manager, said: “The fund has a portfolio of high quality, dominant assets located in strong and growing trade areas, and the fundamentals for Australian retail remain positive with a long-term stable economy, continued population growth and controlled planning,” he said.

McNamara added that, while the(retail) sector was evolving in response to a number of global thematics, the fund was well-positioned to capitalise on emerging opportunities presented by these trends.

Lendlease said the sale represented a significant milestone for the fund as it worked through a process of providing liquidity for a number of its investors.

“The Fund is well-positioned to implement a range of options to meet remaining requests,” it said.

The centre is jointly owned with Scentre Group, which declined to take up its pre-emptive right to acquire the APPF stake.

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