Firm advises on $300m interstate property portfolio acquisition

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Herbert Smith Freehills has advised Propertylink on the acquisition of a $300m property portfolio.

The portfolio includes 320 Pitt Street, a landmark commercial building in the Sydney CBD and eight industrial properties across four states.  The Pitt Street acquisition was purchased for $200m from Perpeptual Trustee Company Limited, acting as trustee for RMR Australia Asset Management.

“We’ve acted for Propertylink since its creation about three years ago and they have been very active in the industrial and logistics sector, but this is their first acquisition of a major commercial office building,” said joint lead partner Michael Back.

Since its inception, Propertylink has become a major player in the Australian property and infrastructure sectors, currently managing over$2bn worth of assets and projects in Australia.

The nine properties in the most recent acquisition were all interdependent and required the work of Herbert Smith Freehills teams in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia.

“We worked with our offices in each of those states to make sure that we had a coordinated approach to the acquisition particularly given that if one didn’t complete, then the whole portfolio was at risk,” said Back.

While he expects further activity in the property sector over the next 12 months, Back said the number of assets available to the market is relatively low.

“Commercial real estate is very tightly held in Australia, particularly at the top quality commercial office level where it is tightly held by a relatively small number of institutions, but there is absolutely no shortage of demand from local players and international players as well,” he said.

“The demand is there, the product is limited, I think what we’ll see is more of these portfolio type transactions, potentially more capital partnership or joint venture arrangements.” 

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