Australia Post property sell off could leave foreign groups in control

Australia Post’s move to sell key components of its $3.4 billion property portfolio into an unlisted trust run by Eureka Funds Management could leave foreign groups in control of some of the country’s best known buildings.
The body is offering up seven GPOs across most capital cities in a trust structure that will allow foreign and local groups to snare a majority stake in the properties, that are worth an estimated $300 million.
An Australia Post spokesman said: “We are in the early stages of reviewing our GPO properties to evaluate if there are opportunities to maximise return on these assets so that we can reinvest in our business to ensure our long-term sustainability.”
“If we decided to proceed, we would ensure the heritage significance of these properties is maintained. No decision has been made and this process is only in market evaluation stage,” he said.

While Australia Post said the plan was “part of our regular review of our property portfolio” an offshore investor could end up with a 60 per stake in the trust, with a minority interest held by the post office.

The key complexes are the Sydney GPO building at 1 Martin Place and the Melbourne GPO in the Bourke Street mall and carry leases of more than three decades.
Asian and European pension funds have chased properties leased to government bodies for very long terms, and are willing to paying a premium for well-located assets.

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