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CRCT, CapitaLand to divest interests in CapitaMall Wuhu

CAPITALAND Retail China Trust (CRCT) announced on Friday that it will be divesting its 51 per cent interest in a company that owns CapitaMall Wuhu to an unrelated third party for 92.7 million yuan (S$18.3 million).

CapitaLand, which holds the remaining 49 per cent interest in the company, will also be divesting its stake for an undisclosed sum.

The transaction is based on the company's adjusted net asset value, including its interest in CapitaMall Wuhu of 210 million yuan.

As at Dec 31 2018, CapitaMall Wuhu was valued at 193 million yuan.

Located in Wuhu city in Anhui province, CapitaMall Wuhu is a five-storey shopping mall with a gross floor area, excluding car park, of approximately 45,000 square metres. The mall has been closed since 3Q 2018, following the exit of its anchor tenant.

Tan Tze Wooi, CEO of CRCT's manager, said that the divestment of CapitaMall Wuhu is in line with its asset management strategy to optimise CRCT's portfolio and enhance returns.

"As our 51 per cent stake in CapitaMall Wuhu accounts for less than 1 per cent of CRCT's asset size, its sale is expected to have minimal impact on CRCT's core business," he said. "The sale proceeds will provide CRCT with greater financial flexibility to take advantage of market opportunities."

Lucas Loh, president (China & Investment Management), CapitaLand Group, said that the sale will unlock capital that can be redeployed to core assets in key cities.

He added: "We will stay disciplined in our capital-recycling efforts and continually review opportunities to optimise CapitaLand's portfolio, which includes divestment of assets that are non-core or have limited growth."

The divestment of CapitaMall Wuhu is expected to be completed in 2H 2019. Following the divestment, CRCT's portfolio will have 10 malls in seven Chinese cities, while CapitaLand's retail network in China will comprise 51 malls in 21 cities.