ASX-listed Charter Hall Group has teamed up with Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC to acquire a 49 per cent stake in an Ampol petrol station property trust that comprises a portfolio of 203 Australian convenience retail assets.
The deal, worth $682 million, will result in Charter Hall owning 5 per cent – or $34 million – of the stake with the majority owned by its Singaporean partner.
The fuel supplier formerly listed as Caltex, but rebranded as Ampol, announced it was spinning off half of its service station properties into a $1.4 billion property trust in late 2019
The deal is the latest in a run of sale-and-leaseback deals as companies across sectors including healthcare, food production and logistics offload real estate from their balance sheets and asset-starved investors scramble to secure properties with high quality tenants in place with long lease terms.
Charter Hall already has a track record with petrol stations. At the end of last year the group bought a 49 per cent stake in a portfolio of 225 BP retail properties in a deal worth $840 million.
The Ampol portfolio has a weighted average lease expiry of 19.2 years with the properties subject to CPI annual rent reviews, with rent increases of between 2 per cent and 5 per cent every year. The trust will receive about $77 million in rental payments from Ampol in the first year.
“This off-market transaction follows regular dialogue with the Ampol team over the past two years and reinforces our confidence in the convenience retail sector,” Charter Hall Group chief executive David Harrison said.
This is just one of a number of recent investments in the Australian market for acquisitive GIC. The sovereign wealth fund is also behind a $300 million Primewest “daily needs” fund targeting investment in Australian neighbourhood shopping centres.
Late last year the sovereign wealth fund also increased its exposure to Parramatta’s office market, teaming up once again with Charter Hall to purchase an A-grade office tower for $415 million.