Abu Dhabi SWF unit invests in Oz retail

Middle East shopping, Middle East retail, GCC retail

Two global sovereign wealth funds have invested A$872m ($904m) in Australian shopping centres through wealth manager AMP Ltd as part of an asset swap deal with mall owner Westfield Group.

AMP said it has bought Westfield and Westfield Retail Trust’s interests in three shopping malls for A$1.025bn ($1.06bn). It sold interests in four centres to Westfield and Westfield Retail Trust for A$710m.

The transaction was backed by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and Harina Co Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA).

“Their respective investments will allow these highly regarded international investors to participate in the growth of leading shopping centres located in high population growth areas with significant development opportunities,” AMP said in a statement.

Westfield will receive approximately A$200m after the transaction. It said the deal was expected to have a neutral impact to its 2012 earnings.

Westfield Retail Trust said it would use the proceeds of A$180m from the transaction to buy back up to A$200m of its shares, approximately 2 percent of issued capital.

Shares in Westfield gained 0.9 percent on Thursday, and Westfield Retail Trust jumped 2.8 percent. AMP edged up 0.4 percent as of 0157 GMT.

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