AMP Capital today announced new partners in the AMP Capital Retail Trust (ACRT). UniSuper, one of Australia’s leading superannuation funds and Cbus Property, one of Australia’s leading property investors and developers, have taken the majority ownership of Pacific Fair in Queensland, which was recently recognised as the Queensland Retail Property of the Year, and 50% ownership of Macquarie Centre in New South Wales.
The $2.2 billion investment reflects the new partners’ positive outlook and momentum in the retail sector, and in particular, the quality of ACRT’s underlying assets, with both shopping centres successfully managed and developed by AMP Capital for more than 30 years. AMP Capital are invested alongside the new unitholders to ensure management alignment.
The deal marks the largest retail transaction in Australian history, as well as one of the largest global retail transactions since 2018. The deal was facilitated by the AMP Capital Real Estate team in conjunction with the vendors’ advisers Colliers’ Head of Retail Investment Services, Lachlan MacGillivray, as well as Morgan Stanley’s Chairman of Investment Banking, Australia, Tim Church and Head of Real Estate, Australia, Craig Smith.
AMP Capital’s Head of Real Estate, Kylie O’Connor, said: “We are delighted to be working with UniSuper and Cbus Property as manager of these incredible assets. Since 2012, AMP Capital has overseen the redevelopment of the assets on behalf of investors to enhance the retail offering and trade area dominance of Pacific Fair and Macquarie Centre.
“As we move closer to operating under the demerged Private Markets business, we look forward to working with our partners to unlock future opportunities at each asset, both of which are in prime locations within exceptional trade areas. This includes further strengthening performance with innovative retail solutions and capitalising on their mixed-use potential, including Macquarie Centre’s mixed-use DA.
“This deal demonstrates the returning confidence investors have in the retail sector, particularly for high-quality, well managed assets, and the support for our highly regarded and talented management platform,” O’Connor said.
UniSuper’s Head of Property and Infrastructure, Kent Robbins, said: “UniSuper is pleased to announce its latest investment into quality retail assets. We anticipate an increase in returns from certain shopping centres as retailers seek exposure to dominant shopping centres, such as Macquarie Centre and Pacific Fair, to leverage their omni-channel retail plans.
“We look forward to our partnership with Cbus Property and AMP Capital to maximise the potential of the assets, including the mixed-use development opportunities for both centres, to deliver greater retirement outcomes for our members,” Robbins said.
Cbus Property’s Chief Executive Officer, Adrian Pozzo, said: “We are excited to partner with UniSuper and AMP Capital on these premium flagship retail assets located in prime locations, with potential for future growth opportunities in both centres.
“This blue-chip retail portfolio complements Cbus Property’s existing premium commercial office portfolio, which was recently awarded Australia’s highest NABERS Energy rating in the NABERS Sustainable Portfolios Index for the second year in a row,” Pozzo said.
ACRT was established in 2012 with foundation investors Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), Harina Company Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and AMP Life Limited (AMP Life). In 2016, AMP Life’s interest was transferred into the AMP Life Property Fund (ALPF) managed by AMP Capital.