Dexus today announced that Dexus Wholesale Property Fund has exchanged contracts to acquire an additional 25% interest in Westfield Warringah Mall, ending AMP Capital’s 27 year involvement in the Centre.
The deal, valued at circa $410 million, increases DWPF’s interest to 50%, with Scentre Group retaining ownership of the remaining 50% interest.
Westfield Warringah Mall is a dominant retail centre in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, anchored by Myer and David Jones Department Stores, Big W and Kmart Discount Department Stores, Woolworths, and Coles Supermarkets, Hoyts Cinema, and Bunnings. The three-level shopping centre has undergone numerous additions and refurbishments and provides mixed-use redevelopment and repositioning opportunities over the long-term.
AMP Capital no longer holding any ownership interest in the flagship mall having acquired the Centre as part of the Hammerson portfolio back in 1994.
In 2003, AMP Capital let go of a 25% interest in the mall from its listed Shopping Centre Trust which was acquired by Westfield. For the next 10 years, Westfield’s co-ownership of several assets made life difficult for AMP Capital particularly in making decisions to progress various redevelopment plans.
In 2012, the pair formed a truce and swapped interests in seven centres, including Westfield taking another 25% in Warringah Mall. This took Westfield’s ownership to 50%, with AMP Capital’s Wholesale Shopping Centre Fund still holding a 25% interest and its Wholesale Property Fund a 25% interest. As part of that deal, Westfield took on the centre management and naming rights.
With Dexus taking control of the AMP Capital Wholesale Property Fund in April 2021, AMP Capital were then left with the minority 25% stake which has now also been sold to Dexus.
Michael Sheffield, DWPF Fund Manager, said: “This acquisition increases DWPF’s interest in a well-performing super regional retail asset which is expected to benefit from embedded development opportunities. The acquisition represents relative value compared to other asset classes in a post pandemic environment.”
Scentre holds its 50% interest in the Centre at a book value as at 31 Dec 2020 of $840m and a cap rate of 5.0%. The AMP Capital / Dexus deal is likely to reflect a similar cap rate.
The acquisition is expected to settle in December 2021.