Sunsuper has made its first direct investment in a retail property property, buying a regional shopping centre for AUD163m (€109m).

AMP Capital acquired the Marketown Shopping Centre in Newcastle, a port city north of Sydney, on behalf of the Australian superannuation fund.

AMP Capital bought the asset from The Cartier Group and will take over management of the centre from Knight Frank.

Michael Weaver, manager private markets at Sunsuper, said: “Although we have considered such opportunities in the past, Marketown is the first asset to deliver on the right price, scale, tenant mix, leasing and development upside.

The Queensland-based not-for-profit super fund, which had some AUD42bn in assets at the end of last month, now has a portfolio of at least eight commercial properties.

“Marketown complements our existing portfolio, which includes the interest we acquired in Australian Technology Park, Sydney, in 2015,” said Weaver.

Marketown is a 26,000sqm sub-regional centre anchored by major tenants including supermarket chains Coles and Woolworths. It has 58 specialty stores.

“Through further development, an asset such as Marketown has the ability to maintain its relevance within Sunsuper’s property portfolio as our funds under management continue to grow.”

Weaver said Marketown is well-positioned to benefit from new transport infrastructure and a university hub.

“With the majority of its income stream secured by highly-rated covenants, the centre has potential for future repositioning and development,” he said.