Charter Hall to buy Victorian shopping centre for $117 million

Charter Hall to buy Victorian shopping centre for $117 million

Charter Hall Retail REIT (ASX: CQR) has teamed up with Charter Hall Prime Retail Fund to form a new joint venture to acquire a prominent Victorian shopping centre.

The joint venture will allow Charter Hall to enter an unconditional contract to acquire buy Gateway Plaza in Leopold for a total consideration of $117 million.

Charter Hall CEO Retail, Greg Chubb, says the acquisition is consistent with the group's current plans for growth.

"By extending the joint venture relationship with wholesale investment partners such as MTAA Super, the REIT is able to extend its access to wholesale capital in addition to existing wholesale partnerships and provides future financial flexibility for CQR," says Chubb.

"We will continue to explore other opportunities for the joint venture across our existing portfolio and any potential future acquisitions."

Gateway Plaza is located 10km from Geelong and just southwest from Melbourne's CBD.

It recently completed an $85 million redevelopment in March 2017, and comprises a free-standing shopping centre approximately 33,510 sqm large.

The centre has some major brands on the books included a freestanding Bunnings, a full-line Coles and Liqorland, Aldi and Kmart.

Chubb says the acquisition of Gateway Plaza is part of Charter Hall's plans to move into fast growing locations.

"The investment into a high-quality convenience plus centre like Gateway Plaza aligns with the REIT's investment strategy and follows our other acquisitions in fast growing metropolitan locations," says Chubb.

Leopold is a fast-growing town in Victoria, with a population of 76,250 residents and 5,900 new developments planned or under construction in the area.

The acquisition of Gateway Plaza will be funded through recent divestments.

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