The GPT Wholesale Shopping Centre Fund has purchased a 25% stake in the Highpoint Shopping Centre in Melbourne for $680 million.
GPT's Wholesale Shopping Centre Fund picked up Highpoint's share after taking up a "pre-emptive" purchase option. The acquisition price reflects a 10% premium to the Fund’s 30 June 2017 book value.
The purchase takes the fund's ownership in the asset to 83.33% while the GPT Group (GPT) retains a 16.67% interest. The GPT Wholesale Shopping Centre Fund, which co-owns the majority of the massive suburban shopping centre alongside its manager, GPT Group, acquired the 25% interest from Melbourne's Besen family. GPT continues to be the manager of the Highpoint Shopping Centre.
The 156,000 square metre Highpoint is one of the leading super regional shopping centres in the country and is in the Top 5 of the Big Guns of shopping centres, with an annual moving turnover of almost $1 billion.
The centre boasts around 470 stores including Myer, David Jones and leading international retailers such as Apple, Zara and Samsung.
GPT Wholesale Shopping Centre Fund Manager Brett Williams said he was pleased the Fund had secured the additional stake, giving it further ownership of a very successful, high performing asset.
"Securing this additional interest in Highpoint is a great outcome for the Fund and another important step in delivering on the Fund strategy following the successful sale of Westfield Woden in December 2016," Williams said.
"Highpoint has delivered an exceptional return of 15.1% over the past 12 months.
"Super prime regional centres of this calibre are rarely traded in Australia. Not only does Highpoint rank in the top five centres in Australia with regards to total centre sales, it is located within an exceptional catchment with over 1.3 million people," he said.
"Highpoint also presents several immediate asset enhancement opportunities including the expansion of the cinema and entertainment precinct, introduction of additional international retailers, and the development of a second supermarket and fresh food precinct.
"The centre should also benefit from mixed use development opportunities in the future," Mr Williams said.
Settlement is scheduled to occur in late September 2017.