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Mapletree announces closing of Australian private trust of A$654m in fund equity

MAPLETREE Investments has succcessfully closed a new Australian private commercial trust at about A$654 million (S$608 million) in total fund equity.

MASCOT Private Trust (MASCOT) is fully invested at closing and owns 10 Grade A office assets that are strategically located in key Australian gateway cities - Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth - with a total asset value of about A$1.4 billion.

The trust, which is targeting 12 per cent internal rate of return, will be managed by Mapletree Real Estate Advisors , a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mapletree Investments, which in turn is fully owned by Temasek Holdings.

Mapletree Investments will retain a 27 per cent stake in MASCOT to align with investor interest. This is akin to its approach with other sponsored private funds such as Mapletree Global Student Accommodation Private Trust, Mapletree US & EU Logistics Private Trust and its four Singapore-listed real estate investment trusts (Reits).

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The 27 per cent interest in MASCOT includes directors and senior management's stakes.

Mapletree Investments' group chief executive officer, Hiew Yoon Khong, said: "The successful closing of MASCOT is a testament to the strong confidence that investors have in Mapletree's fund management and real estate capabilities. The syndication of MASCOT is in line with the group's business model, which includes being an active capital manager in both the public and private markets that constantly seeks opportunities to structure attractive investment products for a wide spectrum of investors.

"Going forward, we will continue to originate investment products and syndicate new funds to grow our capital management business and fulfil the demand of our investors."

MASCOT, which has a term of five years with provision for two extensions of one year each, attracted a range of institutional investors including pension funds, insurance companies, regional banks and corporates as well as high net worth and family office investors.

With a total net lettable area of about 160,000 square metres, the portfolio's occupancy stands at 94 per cent. The tenant pool comprises reputable occupiers from well-diversified industries such as the technology, media and telecom, government as well as mining, oil and gas, Mapletree said in its release issued on Sunday.

Australia has strong economic growth, a buoyant labour market and a highly transparent regulatory system, it added.

Said Mr Hiew: "The strong property and economic fundamentals are what attracted Mapletree's entry into Australia in 2014. With limited supply of quality Grade A office assets in the pipeline, rents are expected to grow over the medium term. The group is optimistic regarding the performance of its investments in Australia and will continue to grow its footprint there, including expanding our portfolio of logistics assets."

MASCOT's total return target of 12 per cent represents both a yield plus growth opportunity from a strong, fully-invested and income-generating portfolio. The trust will make distributions on a semi-annual basis in Australian dollars.

The closing of MASCOT follows a series of other European and US funds in the logistics and student accommodation sectors Mapletree has syndicated over the past two years.