GIC, Charter Hall buy stake in Australian convenience-store property trust

BENGALURU (REUTERS) – Australia’s Ampol Ltd said on Monday (Aug 17) it would sell a 49 per cent stake in a property trust that owns convenience stores to Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC and Charter Hall Group for A$682 million (S$671.9 million).

The sale comes months after a A$8.8 billion takeover of Ampol – formerly known as Caltex Australia – by Canada’s Alimentation Couche-Tard was shelved as a result of the financial blow and plummeting fuel margins caused by the coronavirus crisis.

The country’s biggest fuel supplier said the minority stake was in a newly created property trust which would own 203 convenience retail sites throughout Australia. The deal values the entire property trust at A$1.4 billion.

Property firm Charter Hall said in a separate statement that it will own a 2.45 per cent stake in the Ampol portfolio.

Ampol said it would will retain a 51 per cent stake while maintaining strategic and operational control of the convenience retail sites.

The property trust would receive A$77 million in rental payments from Ampol in the first year, Ampol added, saying it planned to use the net proceeds of A$612 million from the deal to reduce its debt amid uncertainty around Covid-19.

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