US private equity firm the Blackstone Group has become a major retail mall player in Australia after acquiring the in-debted Top Ryde City shopping centre in Sydney for $341 million from receivers McGrathNicol.
The mall on the corner of Devlin Street and Blaxland Road in Ryde has been in the hands of receivers since February 2011 after a syndicate of four banks foreclosed on retail development tycoon John Beville’s Bevillesta Pty Limited, after it was unable to meet the repayments on loans that financed its $800 million re-development.
It collapsed just six months after its grand re-launch attended by the prime minister.
The shopping centre was valued at $840 million four years ago.
It covers 78,000 square metres of retail space and ranks among the 40 biggest shopping centres in Australia.
According to a report in the Australian Financial Review, Blackstone fought off competition from both local and overseas institutional investors to acquire the shopping centre.
Bidders for the mall included Lend Lease fund’s management unit and investment bank, Goldman Sachs, Melbourne businessman and shopping centre manager Sam Alter, super fund ISPT and listed property trust, CFS Retail Property Trust.
The mall was marketed by Simon Rooney of Jones Lang LaSalle via an expressions of interest sales campaign.