Hong Kong groups lead race for Sydney’s Chifley Tower

Sydney’s Chifley Tower. Picture: Hollie Adams.
Sydney’s Chifley Tower. Picture: Hollie Adams.

The complex battle for control of Sydney landmark Chifley Tower is coming to a head with heavyweight Hong Kong groups dominating activity, including seeking to buy the property’s freehold that is being offered for more than $100 million.

In a play that could aid in its pursuit of the half stake in the $1.8 billion leasehold interest of the tower, Infinitus, the property arm of Lee Kum Kee Group, the Hong Kong company best known for its oyster sauce condiment, has emerged as one potential buyer of the freehold.

Securing the freehold could give it the edge in a process being run by Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC Real Estate to sell a half-stake in the 125-year leasehold.

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The Hong Kong group has a healthy appetite for towers in global capitals and last year bought London’s famed “walkie talkie” office tower for a record £1.3 billion.

A sale would be a major windfall for the Europe-based family that picked up the land on which the Chifley Tower is built in May 2003 from the Commonwealth of Australia for only $11.15 million.

Colliers International is handling the freehold offering and JLL and Cushman & Wakefield are handling the leasehold. Industry sources said that the two processes were being run separately although a round of bidding for the leasehold closed on Monday.

The 44-floor complex in Sydney’s central business district has been tipped to bring out both local and international groups keen to snare the prize asset.

The leasehold expires on June 16, 2113, and Infinitus, and potentially other global buyers, could seek to match it with the leasehold stake.

The parties and agents were uncontactable yesterday.

This article originally appeared on www.theaustralian.com.au/property.