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CFS Retail Said to Seek to Raise A$500 Million to Buy Malls

CFS Retail Property Trust is seeking to raise about A$500 million ($477 million) to buy as many as four shopping malls owned by Direct Factory Outlet in Australia, according to two people familiar with the matter.

CFS Retail expects to complete the capital raising today, according to one of the people, who declined to be identified because the details aren’t public.

The real estate trust that invests in Australian shopping centers is interested in buying DFO shopping malls in Homebush in Sydney’s west, in South Wharf in Melbourne’s Docklands and two others in Victoria state, with a total value of about A$600 million, the Australian Financial Review reported yesterday.

Malvina Zayats, a spokeswoman at Colonial First State Property Retail Pty, which manages CFS Retail, declined to comment.

The raising will proceed regardless of the outcome of CFS Retail’s attempt to acquire the DFO shopping centers, one of the people said. Melbourne-based Austexx Pty Ltd., DFO’s parent, is trying to sell DFO’s A$1.5 billion of shopping outlets and has agreed to refinance A$1 billion of debt to avoid going into administration, the Financial Review reported on Aug. 20.

The purchase by Sydney-based CFS Retail looks about 70 percent likely, the person said.

CFS Retail aims to announce the result of the talks with Austexx by the time their shares, which were halted yesterday, begin trading tomorrow morning. The outcome may be delayed until next week, according to the person.

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