Australian Unity Offloads 50pc of Waurn Ponds Shopping Centre


Super fund-backed developer ISPT has acquired the remaining half-stake in a $300 million shopping centre in the regional Victorian centre of Geelong from joint venture partner Australian Unity.

ISPT now holds a 100 per cent stake in the shopping centre after Australian Unity sold its initial half-stake in 2014 after the complex was redeveloped.

ISPT and Australian Unity have since turned the centre around turning into one of the state’s most profitable retail complexes.

The centre sits on a large 24 hectare land holding, of which 7.6 hectares is vacant land, providing ample opportunities to elevate the site into a mixed-use precinct in the future.

The centre is anchored by a Coles, Kmart, Target and Woolworths, Reading Cinemas and sports about 133 speciality retailers.

▲ Colliers International’s Lachlan MacGillivray handled the sale.
▲ Colliers International’s Lachlan MacGillivray handled the sale. Image: Australian Unity

In a statement ISPT said it was excited to consolidate its role in the Waurn Ponds’ town centre and the entertainment, dining and retail amenity it provides to the Armstrong Creek urban development zone and the Greater Geelong and Surf Coast regions.

“Waurn Ponds Shopping Centre is a strong performing asset in a fast growing and dynamic catchment area,” ISPT fund manager Mark Bassett said.

“Geelong’s economy is diverse and resilient, and we see real potential for sustainable growth over the long term as people take advantage of the lifestyle and commuting options available.”

“We look forward to enhancing the centre and continuing to provide the community with a convenient retail offer that supports their needs.”

Consortium targets Australian Unity takeover

ASX-listed groups Charter Hall and Abacus Property Group are currently tabling a potential takeover in unlisted Australian Unity Retail Property Fund.

The consortium lifted its cash bid to $3.04 per share from $2.95 valuing the listed property trust at $494.9 million.

The fund owns nine office properties across central city markets including a 14-level office tower at 10 Valentine Avenue in Sydney's second CBD, Parramatta, and the B-grade office property at 468 St Kilda Road in Melbourne.

The takeover bid comes six months after the fund rejected an earlier proposal from US-listed Starwood, which valued the company at $2.87 a share. The offer was a downward revision from an initial bid of $2.95 a share, following the completion of an exclusive due diligence.

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