AMP Capital has acquired a 50% stake in a shopping centre in Queensland, Australia for more than AUD800m (€521m).
The investment was made on behalf of the AMP Capital Diversified Property Fund and the AMP Capital Shopping Centre Fund, which will each own 25% of the Indooroopilly Shopping Centre.
Earlier this month, IPE Real Assets reported that AMP Capital was “the frontrunner” to clinch a stake in the super-regional shopping centre.
The vendor is Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation, which sold the stake through its asset manager, Eureka–Real Assets. The super fund continues to hold 50% of the centre, which it acquired in 1988 before taking full ownership in 2006.
The asset, considered one of Australia’s highest-trading shopping centres, engendered considerable interest from potential buyers, including QIC Global Real Estate and two of Australia’s largest listed shopping centre owners, Scentre Group and Vicinity Centres.
Industry sources told IPE Real Assets that ‘super-regional’ shopping centres, such as Indooroopilly, attract greater competition from investors. As well being limited in number due to planning rules, they are said to be more immune to the growth of online retail.
One source said Indooroopilly was “Amazon-proof”, in a reference to the imminent arrival in Australia of the giant retailer.
Conrad Sinclair, fund manager of AMP Capital’s Shopping Centre Fund, said the investment was “in line with the fund’s strategy of owning super-regional retail assets that dominate their trade area and have further potential for expansion”.
ASCF now has 81% exposure to regional and super-regional shopping centres.
Sinclair said the deal follows a successful AUD200m equity raising for ASCF. “This was oversubscribed, indicating the appeal these assets hold for investors,” he said.
Kylie O’Connor, AMP Capital’s Diversified Property Fund manager, said: “Indooroopilly Shopping Centre is a good fit for ADPF’s portfolio.
“It is consistent with the fund’s strategic objective to hold a diversified portfolio of high-quality assets across sectors, with a higher weighting towards regional and super-regional retail assets.”
O’Connor says now was the right time to invest in south-east Queensland due to improving economic conditions and strong population growth.
Retail spend in the area is forecast to increase from AUD3.2bn today to AUD3.8bn in 2021.
The centre also offers long-term, mixed-use development opportunities, including potential to add 90,000sqm in gross floor area.
Indooroopilly shopping mall completed an AUD450m redevelopment recently, increasing total lettable area by some 30% to around 115,000sqm.
AMP Capital has a strong presence in south-east Queensland, with a portfolio that includes Pacific Fair on the Gold Coast, recently redeveloped at a cost of AUD670m.