By Andrew Starke

Retailer Woolworths has announced its intention to place a portfolio of retail sites up for tender, with some Dan Murphy’s stores likely to be affected.

The portfolio of sites is worth in excess of $900 million and will be available for tender on the basis of a sale and long term leaseback transaction.

It consists of over 30 neighbourhood and sub-regional shopping centres – most of which are anchored by a Woolworths supermarket – and retail development properties.

Some of the properties within the portfolio include Ashgrove Marketplace in Queensland, Carnes Hill Marketplace in New South Wales and Pakington Strand in Geelong West, Victoria.

The larger Marketplace centres usually also include other stores within the Woolworths Group such as BIG W and Dan Murphy’s, as well as a number of specialty shops.

“The portfolio offers significant diversity in terms of location, excellent demographic profiles and inherent liquidity as a result of the number of centres involved,” said Woolworths director of property, Ralph Kemmler.

As evidenced historically with Woolworths’ disposal of the portfolio of distribution centres in 2006, the Norwest office park in 2004, and various individual retail sites on a continual basis, the company is generally not a long term holder of property assets.

“We are continually reviewing opportunities for the disposal of property assets and amid improving market conditions in the retail sector, we now see an opportunity to place a portfolio of quality completed retail sites for tender, on the basis of sale and long term leaseback transaction,” said Kemmler.

“However, there is no urgency to dispose of the portfolio and we will happily continue to hold the properties on balance sheet should market conditions dictate this course of action.”

The disposal program will commence in the next few weeks.

Woolworths have appointed Moelis & Company and CB Richard Ellis to assist with the transaction.


The Shout Team

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