Real estate private equity firm Gaw Capital Partners and its consortium partners including Goldman Sachs have paid HK$12.01 billion (US$1.53 billion) to acquire a retail portfolio comprising 12 shopping centers in Hong Kong from Link Real Estate Investment Trust, said Gaw Capital Partners in a statement released on Wednesday.
The deal, followed an agreement signed in December 2018, was completed through a fund under the management of Gaw Capital Partners. Gaw Capital Partners’ asset management team will be responsible for overseeing the operation of the 12 shopping malls and car parks from March 13.
The portfolio is comprised of a number of properties across Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories that "sit in the heart of densely-populated communities," said Gaw Capital Partners in the statement. The gross floor area (GFA) of the portfolio totals 1.1 million square feet of prime retail space and comes with over 4,700 parking spaces that are connected to highly-convenient transport links. The average price of the portfolio stands at HK$7,839 (US$998,63) per square foot.
"Their excellent accessibility and holistic shopping environments have made them attractive destinations for retailers and hubs of community life for residents," said Gaw Capital Partners. The company said it will "ensure a smooth handover to maintain service quality."
Goodwin Gaw, chairman and managing principal of Gaw Capital Partners, said: "We will utilize our experience to rejuvenate these malls and transform them into hubs that serve the needs of the local community and are natural extensions of residents’ homes."
Gaw Capital Partners, with a focus on real estate markets in greater China and globally, has raised equity of US$11.4 billion since 2005 and commands assets of US$ 18.2 billion under management as of the fourth quarter of 2018, according to the statement. Specializing in adding strategic value to under-utilized real estate through redesign and repositioning, Gaw Capital runs an integrated business model with own in-house asset management operating platforms in areas like retail, hospitality, property development, and logistics.
The company has raised five commingled funds targeting the Greater China and APAC regions since 2005. The firm also manages value-add and opportunistic funds in Vietnam and the U.S., a Pan-Asia hospitality fund, a European hospitality fund and also provides services for separate account direct investments globally.
The company, along with a consortium of investors, acquired four Grade A office buildings in Shanghai from China Resources Capital Management for an undisclosed amount in January. It is in the process to raise US$2 billion for its sixth opportunity fund for investment in the Asia Pacific in the second quarter of 2019.