Hong Kong toy king’s play for half of $600m Northpoint Tower

An artist’s impression of Northpoint at 100 Miller St, North Sydney.
An artist’s impression of Northpoint at 100 Miller St, North Sydney.

Hong Kong billionaire Francis Choi has sealed a deal to buy a half-stake in the $600 million Northpoint Tower in North Sydney from Cromwell Property Group’s long-time South African backer, Redefine Properties.

The deal shows the ongoing appetite of deep-pocketed Hong Kong players for local office ­assets and the embrace of North Sydney as a fully fledged destination hub for international capital.

Dr Choi, one of China’s largest toy manufacturers, has already put his stamp on Sydney’s market, buying the Exchange Centre in Bridge St from ­Malaysia’s KWAP last year for $335 million. He followed that with the $220 million purchase of 1 Castlereagh St from Blackstone.

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The Australian revealed Dr Choi’s interest in the tower in March and Cromwell last night formally confirmed that his Hong Kong-based Early Light International would become its new capital partner at Northpoint Tower.

Knight Frank’s Tyler Talbot and Dominic Ong brokered the deal that showed a tight core market yield of 4.73%.

Cromwell and Redefine jointly purchased the Northpoint site in 2013 for $287.7 million and then ­dramatically overhauled the complex.

Early Light, founded in 1972 by Dr Choi, holds a diverse array of interests including manufacturing, property, automotive, watches and jewellery.

Cromwell chief executive Paul Weightman says the partnership with Early Light is exciting.

“Northpoint is well positioned to benefit from the growing professional and residential population in North Sydney, as well as significant local transport upgrades and a tight demand for office space. Quality assets in good locations will always appeal to sophisticated investors like Early Light,” he says.

In a rare statement, Dr Choi says he is “pleased that our relationship with Cromwell has started in such a positive fashion and look forward to exploring further opportunities with them in the future”.

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