Herbert Smith Freehills Advises AACI REIT on First Proposed Australian Acquisition

The Singapore-listed AIMS AMP Capital Industrial REIT (AACI REIT), which is managed by AIMS AMP Capital Industrial REIT Management Limited, has exchanged conditional contracts for the proposed acquisition of a 49% indirect interest in the Optus Centre at Macquarie Park, Sydney, Australia for an aggregate purchase consideration of A$184,425,000 (approximately S$215 million) , through the acquisition of units in the Stockland-managed Macquarie Park Trust from the unlisted Stockland Direct Office Trust No. 2.

Conditional contracts for the transaction were exchanged on 23 November 2013, and it remains subject to AACI REIT unitholder approval. The proposed acquisition represents AACI REIT’s first acquisition in Australia, leveraging on the network and on-the-ground real estate expertise of its two Australian sponsors, AIMS Financial Group and AMP Capital.  Upon completion of the acquisition, AACI REIT will acquire the 49% interest in the Optus Centre through a newly established managed investment trust structure.

Optus Centre is 100% leased to Optus, which is ultimately a wholly owned subsidiary of the internationally recognised leading telco group, SingTel. Optus Centre comprises six low-rise office buildings with a total floor area of 84,194sq m. The property has a weighted average lease term of 8.6 years as at 30 September 2013 and is located approximately 12km northwest of the Sydney CBD.

Singapore-based Real Estate partner Simon Taskunas led the Herbert Smith Freehills team, working with Sydney- based senior associates Samuel Brown and Julie Jankowski, and consultant Jim Graham. Rod Howell and Jeremy Chase in Singapore, and Melita Cottrell and Danusia Cameron in Sydney, assisted with the financing aspects of the transaction.

“Herbert Smith Freehills is privileged to have worked with the sophisticated team from  AACI REIT and its Manager on AACI REIT’s maiden investment in Australia. This transaction again demonstrates Singapore’s position as a gateway for cross-border capital flows, and an ongoing trend by leading S-REITs to seek growth by geographic diversification through acquiring quality income-producing real estate assets in Australia,” said Taskunas.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth and Baker & McKenzie acted for Stockland in the transaction. Rodyk & Davidson and Allen & Gledhill were Singapore counsel to AACI REIT and the AACI REIT Manager respectively.


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