Australia REIT Abacus Property Pursues Office, Self-Storage Opportunities

Update 2/25/20 – Abacus deployed more than $600 million in capital during the first half of its 2020 fiscal year (HY20), which ended Dec. 31, including a series of acquisitions and joint ventures in the office and self-storage sectors, with those investments now comprising 92 percent of its portfolio. It also reduced exposure in what is now its non-core legacy investments by selling $150 million in land and mortgages, according to a source.

During the period, the company spent more than $150 million on acquisitions and upgrades to existing self-storage properties. Though it experienced a 36 percent decline in statutory profit, year over year, funds from operation during the period increased 3 percent to $67.3 million.

“Abacus remains committed to executing on its investment strategies as evidenced in HY20, resulting in Abacus increasing its investment in quality office and self-storage assets in target markets and strengthening recurring earnings,” said Steven Sewell, managing director. “Our clear focus remains on acquiring assets that will provide income growth, create value over the longer term and deliver superior risk adjusted returns for our investors.”


9/4/19 – Abacus has agreed to purchase four Storage King self-storage facilities and a development site for $57 million. The acquisitions are in Perth, Australia, and Auckland, New Zealand. The land parcel in Sydney, Australia, will accommodate a multi-story structure, a source reported. Abacus expects the separate deals to close by year-end.


7/29/19 – Abacus Property Group, an Australia-based, publicly traded diversified real estate investment trust (REIT) with interests in office, residential, retail and self-storage properties, recently raised $250 million to help fund portfolio expansion within the office and self-storage sectors. The company is pursuing more than $710 million in investment opportunities in those two markets, while actively reducing its residential and retail holdings, according to a source.

The REIT has targeted funds to increase its stake in the Australian Unity Office Fund and finalize the acquisition of an off-market office property. It also intends to use the raised capital to pursue self-storage acquisition and development opportunities.

The company closed about $180 million in self-storage acquisitions during the last year and has an additional $63 million under contract, with $34 million in deals under consideration, the source reported. Its development pipeline includes about 35,000 square meters, with anticipated annual returns of more than 9 percent. Abacus also owns a minority interest in U.K. self-storage operator Storage King, which also has facilities in Australia and South Africa.

Abacus recently disposed about $150 million of residential investment as well as reworking its retail portfolio. Its moves include entering a joint venture with Australian property group ISPT, in which it retained a 50 percent share in two of its retail assets.

As of June 30 last year, Abacus owned and managed 62 self-storage assets comprising 287,725 square meters, according to its website.

Sources:
The Urban Developer, Abacus Property Commits to Office and Self Storage
The Motley Fool, Abacus Property Shares Close Higher on 1H20 Results
Financial Review, Abacus Property Group Buys Five More Self-Storage Properties
The Urban Developer, Abacus Completes $250M Capital Raising
Abacus Property Group, Website

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