Larry Schlesinger | 4 February 2013

GPT puts half-share in Erina Mall on Central Coast up for sale: Reports

GPT puts half-share in Erina Mall on Central Coast up for sale: Reports

GPT is reportedly looking to sell its half-share in the super-regional Erina Fair Mall on the Central Coast, according to the Australian Financial Review.

The mall is considered one of the retail jewels on the central coast, about an hour's drive from Sydney.

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GPT’s half-share in the 113,700-square-metre centre was valued at $392.9 million as of June 30, 2012, and it will reportedly be seeking around $400 million.

It paid in excess of $80 million to acquire its half share of the mall in June 1992 from the Capita Statutory Fund.

The mall is jointly owned by the Australian Prime Property Fund Retail (APPRF) and is managed by Lend Lease.

It was built in 1987 and is the largest mall on the central coast.

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In 2003, GPT and APPRF spent a combined $210 million on a redevelopment of the centre including adding a Coles supermarket and creating a homewares precinct.

A further refurbishment was completed in 2009. 

The mall has an occupancy rate of 99.8%, with annual sales turnover of $626.9 million, putting it among the top 15 malls in Australia.

A spokesperson from GPT said it could not confirm the AFR report, but said GPT had advised the market last June of its strategy to “reweight the retail portfolio to 50% and increase the weighting in office and logistics & business parks to 35% and 15% respectively".

“This is being done through a combination of organic means, actively managing our portfolio and through selective acquisitions.

“The GPT Group has implemented a number of initiatives in line with this strategy including the divestment of 50% interests in shopping centres at Woden in Canberra and Casuarina in Darwin, the divestment of Jindalee and Aspley Homemaker Centres in Brisbane and the acquisition of two logistics facilities in Sydney, one in Melbourne and an agreement to develop a new logistics facility for the Toll Group in Brisbane.

“GPT continues to review opportunities to deliver on our strategy,” says the spokesperson.

The cash injection from the sale of the mall will also firm up the GPT balance sheet as it considers a fresh bid for Australand’s commercial assets and investment business.

GPT's offer of $3 billion for Australand’s investment property portfolio and commercial and industrial business - but not its residential business - in mid-December 2012 was rejected by Australand.

According to the AFR, the marketing and sale of the mall is being handled by Jones Lang LaSalle’s shopping centre specialist Simon Rooney.

The mall is tenanted by Myer, Kmart, Target, Big W, Best & Less, Woolworths, Coles and Aldi plus over 300 specialty stores an eight screen Hoyts Cinema.

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