Stake in Westfield retail sites up for sale, international buyers showing interest

The headline in this story has been clarified

A large stake – 49 percent – in Westfield’s five prime retail properties in Auckland and Christchurch are for sale and expected to be snapped up by international investors.

Though not disclosed, the seller was believed to be the Government Investment Corporation of Singapore.

Australian-based Scentre Group will continue to hold a 51 percent interest as the manager of Westfield’s Auckland-based Newmarket, Albany, St Lukes and Manakau City properties, as well as the Christchurch-based Riccarton Mall.

Colliers international sales director Richard Kirke said the 49 percent non-management stake in the properties had a combined book value of about $1.4 billion, though the properties were also available for sale individually.

“There are some advantages in owning it in its entirety. It gives some investors scale, which is sought after and is rarely seen in a New Zealand context.”

The portfolio included 60 hectares of prime land and also offered some development potential.

He said the offer was already attracting interest from international buyers.

“It’s a big quantum of money. So for an economy the size of New Zealand, there are not many domestic players that have the ability to acquire assets of that value,” Kirke said.

“So our expectation is that most of the interest will come from offshore and more than likely, it’ll be an offshore party.”

He said the Westfield properties had been performing well in the post-Covid years with strong turnover and yield of about 7 percent, which was outperforming industrial properties which are returning yields in the order of 5 percent.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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