GPT Group (GPT) said it has successfully established the GPT Wholesale Shopping Centre Fund as part of its strategy to grow its funds management business. The fund would initially own a $1.9 billion portfolio of Australian retail assets.
The group said the growth of its wholesale funds management platform, in order to meet the increasing demand from institutional investors for direct property exposure to quality real estate assets, represents an important part of its growth strategy.
GPT chief executive officer Nic Lyons said he was pleased with the momentum gained in building the groupâ€™s funds management business and extending its partnership with leading domestic and international wholesale investors.
â€œIn addition to leveraging the skills and experience of our team, GPTâ€™s development of a funds management platform provides us with potential for stronger earnings growth and deepens the groupâ€™s access to a number of different capital sources,â€ Mr Lyons said.
In a statement, the property trust said the shopping centre fund would be a major Australian retail investment partner for the group, with GPT maintaining an interest in the portfolio through its stake in the fund.
GPT said it would continue to own the remainder of the groupâ€™s retail portfolio on balance sheet, with direct interests in 17 assets with a value of $3.8 billion.
Combined with GPTâ€™s 40% investment in the fund, the group said it would have exposure to a highly diversified and quality retail portfolio with a value of approximately $4.6 billion.
At 1123 AEST, units in GPT Group were 7c higher at $5.01.
Source : The Australian