Charter Hall Buys Telstra Headquarters in Melbourne for $830m


Charter Hall has snapped up the global Telstra headquarters from Investa Office Fund and Oxford Properties for a cool $830 million.

The 47-storey office tower located in the “Paris end” of Melbourne’s CBD comprises 65,913sq m of net lettable area, and 63,398sq m of office accommodation over 43 floors, along with retail and parking.

ASX-listed Charter Hall formed a wholesale partnership to acquire a 100 per cent interest in the 242 Exhibition Street asset.

The A-grade tower will be owned by a wholesale partnership comprising the $5.4 billion Charter Hall Prime Office Fund (CPOF), the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) and the Group.

Charter Hall chief executive David Harrison confirmed the off-market transaction will settle in the first half of 2020.

“The Melbourne CBD recorded 153,650sq m of net demand in the year to 31 March 2019 – double that of Sydney CBD (71,800sq m) - and was the strongest of any Australian CBD office market,” Harrison said.

“Continued strong tenant demand has placed downward pressure on the Melbourne CBD vacancy rate, which now stands at 3.7 per cent the lowest level since 1989.”

242 Exhibition Street
▲ 242 Exhibition Street

Vendors, and joint owners, Investa Commercial Property Fund and Oxford Investa Property Partners each owned a 50 per cent stake in the asset, recently completing a $17 million upgrade to the building.

Investa Commercial Property Fund originally acquired the Exhibition Street asset in 2006.

Investa Commercial Property said the sale represents a 17 per cent premium to book value, which will deliver a boost to its total earnings.

The building is leased to Telstra Corporation (99.6 per cent by net lettable area) and has a weighted average lease expiry of 11.9 years, with Telstra’s lease expiring in financial year 2032.

The sale was managed by Cushman and Wakefield’s Head of Capital Markets Australia and New Zealand Josh Cullen on a 4.5 per cent yield.

ICPF Fund Manager Jason Leong said proceeds of the sale will be reinvested into ICPF’s development pipeline including 60 Martin Place in Sydney, along with “future acquisition opportunities”.

ICPF’s portfolio of 15 office assets is valued at more than $5.4 billion, including Sydney based office buildings 420 George Street, Deutsche Bank Place at 126 Phillip Street, and 567 Collins Street in Melbourne.

Charter Hall’s Prime Office Fund said it’s currently undertaking a capital raising with approximately $300 million of equity raised from existing fund investors.

CPOF’s has a $5.4 billion portfolio of 26 office properties with 89 per cent of its offices located on Australia's eastern seaboard.

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