Southgate owners bought-out by overseas real estate platform

Southgate owners bought-out by overseas real estate platform

By Brendan Rees

The owners of Southgate, ARA Australia, which has plans to reimagine the precinct, will “embark on a new era” after its parent company was bought for US$5.2 billion.

Shareholders of Hong-Kong headquartered ESR Cayman Limited approved an acquisition of real-estate fund manager ARA Management Asset Ltd this month, which is expected to create the third-largest real estate investment manager worldwide.

ARA Australia, which is a subsidiary of ARA Management Asset Limited, is currently seeking planning approval for a proposed 26-storey commercial building and a five-storey podium at Southgate to revitalise the precinct – with its plans currently before Planning Minister Richard Wynne.

The proposal has sparked fury among residents who say they haven’t been consulted over the plans, and had concerns of noise, traffic, and a loss of privacy. Under the plans, ARA proposes to partially demolish the Southgate complex at Southgate Avenue as well as the retail levels below the Langham Hotel.

It’s not known how or if the recent sale of ARA Management Asset Ltd would impact ARA Australia and its Southgate proposal.

ARA Australia did not respond to a request for comment by Southbank News.

In a statement in September, ARA Management Asset Limited said it expected the proposed transaction “to be a positive development which will enable it to leverage ESR’s complementary capabilities, expertise, commitment to ESG, capital and customer relationships to deliver a best in-class offering.”

Jeffrey Perlman, chairman of ESR, said, “I am very pleased that our shareholders overwhelmingly supported this landmark transaction, which brings two best-in-class businesses and teams together to form APAC’s number one real asset manager powered by New Economy real estate.” •

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