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M&G invests $165m in Melbourne shopping center

The real estate investment manager has made its ninth real estate acquisition in Australia via its Asia core vehicle.

M&G Real Estate has agreed to acquire a shopping center in Melbourne at a purchase price of A$220.8 million ($165 million; €155 million).

In a statement released this morning, the real estate investment management business of the UK insurer Prudential, said it had exchanged contracts on Casey Central with the seller Scentre Group, a firm created out of the merger between Westfield Retail Trust and Westfield’s Australian and New Zealand management business in 2014.

Casey Central, a sub-regional shopping center, is M&G’s ninth property acquisition in Australia for the core fund. The asset has been acquired via the M&G Asia open-ended core vehicle. In November last year, it paid $80 million to acquire two Sydney industrial properties, one in Ingleburn and one in Erskine Park.

Commenting on the acquisition, Chiang Ling Ng, chief executive officer of M&G Real Estate said: “It allows us to strengthen our portfolio performance and diversify risk notwithstanding continued investment appetite from domestic and foreign capital. It is also a perfect complement to our investment in Westfield Doncaster, a super-regional shopping center in Melbourne, as the centers have diversified demographic and socio-economic trade areas, differing growth profiles and target different segments of the retail sector.”

In October, the firm appointed Jing Dong Lai as the acquisitions director for Asia. Lai, who took over a position lying vacant since Ng was promoted to chief executive officer, is now responsible for sourcing and executing market transactions in M&G’s core markets, including Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Singapore.

Headquartered in Singapore, M&G Real Estate’s Asia business is responsible for managing $4 billion in assets.