AIMS APAC REIT Buys Woolworths Sydney HQ

Singapore’s AIMS APAC REIT Buys Woolworths Sydney HQ For A$463m

AUSTRALIA – Following a report that said AIMS APAC REIT is conducting exclusive due diligence to purchase the local headquarters of Australian supermarket and grocery chain Woolworths, the Singapore-listed trust has confirmed that it is acquiring the property for A$463.3 million, reported IPE Real Assets on Thursday evening (30 September, SGT).

“It will be our single largest investment to date,” George Wang, Chairman of the AIMS APAC REIT’s manager, said in an interview with IPE Real Assets.

The commercial property, which stands on a 9ha site, is being bought from Inmark Asset Management. In turn the seller, acquired the asset from Mirvac in 2016 for A$336.5 million.

Situated within the Norwest Business Park in The Hills Shire in Sydney, the commercial complex consists of Woolworths headquarters in Australia and data centre. In addition, its land plot could be developed further to maximise its full potential.

“It currently has 47,000 sq m (505,904 sq ft) of buildings on-site, and potentially we can develop up to 180,000 sq m (1.94 million sq ft) of space on the land. So, there is a lot of room to grow,” Wang disclosed.

Notably, the commercial property has been solely leased by Woolworths since 2005. The tenant was initially granted a 26-year lease with 4 options to renew for an additional period of 5 years each.

Upon completion of the transaction, AIMS APAC REIT’s portfolio is expected to grow to over S$2.1 billion from S$1.7 billion, with its exposure to Australian assets rising to 38 percent.

The trust will finance the latest deal via a combination of loans and cash raised from a recent issuance of S$250 million worth of perpetual securities.

Meanwhile, Wang shared that AIMS APAC REIT’s ultimate objective is to evolve into an Asia Pacific entity, with Australia as its first property investment destination outside of Singapore.

“We like Australia because properties are freehold, compared to those in Singapore which are leasehold,” he added.

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