GIC Singapore goes shopping in Sydney

GIC Real Estate is to pay $597 million to acquire a 50% share in Sydney's Westfield Parramatta mall.
GIC Real Estate in Singapore announced on April 30 that it will pay A$717.5 ($597.4 million) to acquire a 50% ownership interest in a shopping centre in Sydney's western suburb of Parramatta.

The Westfield Group, the current owners of the mall, and GIC Real Estate will form a joint venture in which both will be equal partners. The valuation of Westfield Paramatta at A$1.4 billion is based on the book value as on December 31, 2006. The Westfield Group will continue to operate and maintain the property.

Westfield Parramatta is a five storey shopping mall in a suburb of western Sydney with an area of approximately 140,000 square metres. Its tenants include David Jones, Myer, Kmart, Target, Woolworths, Coles and around 500 specialty stores. The mall benefits from good transportation linkages.

In his statement, Westfield group managing director, Steven Lowy, termed Westfield Parramatta a ôprime assetö for the group and referred to the ôfirst joint venture with GIC Real Estateö leading to speculation that further partnerships could be on the cards. The Westfield Group, a closely held property group, has investment interests in 121 shopping centres in four countries.

ôWith the consistent strong showing by AustraliaÆs retail property sector, we are confident that our investment in Westfield Parramatta will enhance the performance of our global portfolio of properties,ö says Seek Ngee Huat, president of GIC Real Estate.

GIC Real Estate is the property investment arm of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation with investments in 30 countries. Its interests in retail properties include Queen Victoria Building in Australia, Bluewater Shopping Centre in England, Roma Est in Italy and Sunway Pyramid Mall in Malaysia.
¬ Haymarket Media Limited. All rights reserved.
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