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Centro Sales Lead A$5.8 Billion Australian Retail Deals

Centro Retail Australia, the mall owner formed last year from the restructure of Centro Properties Group, led a 69 percent jump in retail property transactions in 2012, according to Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.

Shopping center sales jumped to A$5.8 billion ($6.1 billion) in 2012, the second-highest year on record, the Chicago-based broker said in an e-mailed statement. Centro’s sale of 50 percent stakes in three malls in Western Australia, Victoria and South Australia states to Perron Group Ltd. in May accounted for almost 12 percent of agency-negotiated sales, it said.

The “defensive characteristics of major shopping centers are once again demonstrating their resilience,” Simon Rooney, Sydney-based Australian head of retail investments at Jones Lang LaSalle, said in the statement. “Jones Lang LaSalle have over A$1.5 billion worth of shopping centers in due diligence that will translate into transactions in the first quarter of 2013, so we’re predicting another very strong year of investment activity.”

Other major deals in 2012 included agreements by Blackstone Group LP to acquire Top Ryde City in Sydney, which was in receivership, for A$341 million in November, and the Industry Superannuation Property Trust to purchase the Myer Centre in Brisbane for A$366 million from CFS Retail Property Trust in March, Jones Lang LaSalle said.

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