Singapore group buys major Canberra office and SA chicken facility

Singapore’s Soilbuild REIT has bought a Canberra office complex for $55 million.
Singapore’s Soilbuild REIT has bought a Canberra office complex for $55 million.

Singapore’s Soilbuild REIT has become the latest group from the city-state to leap into the Australian market, snapping up a Canberra office complex and an Inghams facility in South Australia in deals worth just over $116 million in total.

Soilbuild, which last year flagged its intentions of forging into the Australian market and looked at buying an Adelaide tower, has now established itself in both the office and industrial property markets.

In Canberra, it has bought an office building known as Australia Place, at 14 Mort St, for $55 million, and in SA it has picked up an Ingham poultry processing plant in Burton for $61.25 million.

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Both assets were sold by local fund manager Ascot Capital and the purchases come after Soilbuild last November announced its intention of expanding its mandate to explore opportunities in Australia.

It joins Singaporean players including Ascendas, Mapletree, Cache, Frasers in snapping up local commercial property assets.

The group’s manager says Australia has “a growing and mature real estate market” that is underpinned by strong domestic consumption and population growth.

“The proposed acquisitions will provide high-quality assets to anchor Soilbuild REIT’s expansion into the Australia office and industrial markets, which offer growth potential and scalability,” the company says.

Soilbuild will fund the deals via Australian debt financing and issuing perpetual securities in Singapore. It flagged further growth locally saying its larger portfolio, would create a stronger and more diversified platform for further growth. The Canberra deal was brokered by Mark Hansen and Josh Cullen of Cushman & Wakefield and the Adelaide deal was handled by CBRE’s Chris O’Brien.

The 9385.5sqm Mort St asset was picked up by Ascot for $41.5 million in 2016. It has seven upper office levels and basement carparking for 62 vehicles. The building was constructed in 1996 with a refurbishment in 2013-14.

The federal government occupies the building on a lease expiring in March 2025 with two further five-year options. The gross lease has an annual rental escalation of 3.75% per annum and the weighted average lease expiry of the property is 6.5 years.

Inghams Burton is a substantial production and processing facility with high clearance and cold room, modern office and workshop facilities and expansive hardstand areas. Inghams Group occupies the facility on a triple net lease expiring in 2034 with five further 10-year option periods.

The property north of the Adelaide CBD spans a gross lettable area of the building is 21,424sq m with a weighted average lease expiry of 16.1 years.

The acquisitions takes Soilbuild REIT to 11 properties in Singapore and two in Australia with the trust’s portfolio expected to increase from $S1.11bn to $S1.23 billion ($1.12 billion-$1.25 billion).

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