Charter Hall, GIC, buying 49pc stake in Ampol service stations

Last July, a Caltex leased service station at Winchelsea sold for $6.6 million.

Charter Hall Group and Singapore’s GIC are paying $682 million for a 49 per cent stake in 203 Australian petrol stations tenanted to Caltex.

The vendor is the convenience retailer which is in the process of rebranding here as Ampol.

The property deal has been mooted since last month.

The convenience centre operator indicated it would offload the assets last year.

The yield for the share in the petrol station trust is 5.5 per cent.

As part of the agreement, Charter Hall will own five per cent, after outlaying $34m, with 44pc to be held by GIC.

Ampol will retain 51pc and strategic and operational control.

“The property trust will provide Ampol a platform to potentially acquire future sites and sell additional…sites into the property trust over time,” the vendor added in a statement.

Portfolio just latest disposal for Ampol

Ampol has sold several Caltex-occupied service stations in recent months.

Last December it banked $92m (after remediation costs) offloading 25 petrol stations which would be better off used for something else, to a mix of developers, including Woolworths.

A month earlier it recovered $7.8m from the sale of two metropolitan Melbourne convenience stores, offered with a leaseback, in Avondale Heights and Rowville.

History repeating for Charter Hall

Last year Charter Hall paid BP $840m for a 49pc share of 225 Australian service stations – a deal which reflected a 5.5pc yield.

Those assets were split into two of its funds: 30pc with Charter Hall Retail Trust (which is expected will hold the Caltex assets, too), and Charter Hall Long WALE REIT.

Shortly after making this outlay Charter Hall purchased a further 17.5pc stake in that portfolio for a speculated $147m.

Following the Caltex acquisition it is reported that GIC is keen to further invest with the partner, with which it has co-owned other Australian real estate for about 15 years (story continues below).

Late November the pair snapped up the Jessie Street Centre in Parramatta, about 20 kilometres west of Sydney, from Brookfield, for $415m.

Three months prior, Charter Hall paid the Singapore sovereign wealth fund $900m for a half share of that city’s Chifley Tower.

GIC maintains open relationships here

GIC is arguably one of Australia’s most active offshore commercial property investors of late.

Last week, it gave LaSalle Investment Management $205.7m for a half share of a 30-storey Melbourne CBD office at 222 Exhibition Street.

It has been tipping hundreds of millions of dollars into an acquisitive logistics trust with ESR.

It also has an interest in Primewest’s Daily Needs Trust which targets neighbourhood shopping centres – especially this quarter.

Four months ago, with Dexus, GIC outlaid $644m for a half share of the Rialto Melbourne complex at 525 Collins St.

Formerly known as Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, the fund additionally controls a 49pc stake in both the assets and development pipeline of the Dexus Australian Logistics Trust.

Last month that partnership paid $269.4m – on a 5.3pc yield – for six newly constructed industrial investments, five in Melbourne’s Truganina.

In June it spent $100m on a factory in Greenacre, in Sydney’s south west, and $73.5m, on a funds-through basis, for a Mickleham warehouse, in Melbourne’s north, which will be tenanted to Ford as a distribution centre.

GIC and Grocon also hold several sites – for build-to-rent based projects.

Last month this partnership appointed Hacer to construct the first Melbourne one, replacing the Richmond Plaza, in the inner east.

The end value of this multi-building Richmond development, which will also contain substantial retail, has been put at $220m.

Note: this story was amended on August 17, 2020, to reflect Ampol’s confirmed 49pc sale price value – $682m.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.

Marc Pallisco