SYDNEY: Centro Properties Group, Australia’s second-largest shopping centre owner, agreed to buy New Plan Excel Realty Trust for $3.7 billion (Rs16,376 crore) to become the fifth-biggest mall owner in the US.
Centro will pay $33.15 a share in cash for New Plan, 13% more than closing price on 27 February, the Melbourne-based company said on 28 February. The New York-based trust owns stakes in 467 shopping centers across 38 states. Including debt, the $6.2 billion deal is the biggest US expansion by an Australia-based real estate investment trust.
It is the sixth US mall acquisition since August 2003 by Centro Chief Executive Officer Andrew Scott, who transformed the Australian operator of regional centers into an international shopping mall owner. The purchase will increase forecast dividends in the next financial year by 10%, he said.
The acquisition is jointly made by Centro and Centro Retail Trust, which is run- and 52%-owned by the company. Centro will fund the deal by selling $197 million in new shares, in a transaction underwritten by JPMorgan Chase & Co. Centro Retail will sell A$1 billion in shares and a further A$750 million will be raised using a combination of fund inflows and hybrid financing.
More than $73 billion of real estate takeovers have been announced this year according to data compiled by Bloomberg, led by Blackstone Group LP’s $39 billion buyout of Equity Office Properties Trust. Last year, $421 billion of real estate deals were announced.