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Australia Post eyeing sale of historic GPO buildings

The postal services group is reportedly planning to sell a chunk of its heritage properties to an unlisted trust.  

Australia Post is looking to sell seven heritage general post office (GPO) buildings in the country, reportedly valued at around A$300 million (€193 million; $220 million).

According to a report in the Australian Financial Review (AFR), the national postal services corporation is considering selling the historic properties, many of them more than 150 years old, to a trust run by Eureka Funds Management, a Sydney-based fund manager.

The GPOs up for sale include one in Sydney at 1 Martin Place and the GPO in Melbourne in the Bourke Street Mall, each with leases of more than 30 years.

A statement released by Australia Post has confirmed it is reviewing a sale of its assets.

“We are in the early stages of reviewing our GPO properties to evaluate if there are opportunities to maximize return on these assets so that we can reinvest in our business to ensure our long-term sustainability. If we decided to proceed, we would ensure the heritage significance of these properties is maintained,” read the statement.

However, it maintained that no final decision has been made so far, and that the process is only in market evaluation stage.

As per the expression of interest documents reviewed by the AFR, Australia Post would take a 40 percent stake in the unlisted trust. A deadline of May 20 has been set to receive bids for the remaining stake.

The move to sell properties comes amid the wider restructuring currently taking place at the over 200-year-old national postal company. For the first time in over three decades, Australia Post registered a full-year loss of $222 million, according to the 2014-2015 annual report, largely due to a tepid letters business.