Link Asset shopping centre portfolio draws 12 bids

At least 12 groups have submitted bids for a HK$14.5 billion (US$1.8 billion) portfolio of shopping centres in Hong Kong owned by Link Asset Management.

Local media reports say Link has been seeking buyers for a set of 17 retail centres, with the list of contenders including some of the world’s biggest private equity managers and sovereign funds including the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), Blackstone, Citic and KKR, according to the Hong Kong Economic Journal.

Link Asset Management’s property trust Link Reit last year sold nine of its Hong Kong properties for a combined HK$3.65 billion. If completed, the current disposal would be Link Reit’s largest asset sale since its founding in 2004, and could net up to $20 billion, valuers say.

Hong Kong sources say the 17 shopping centres are located in the Kwai Chung, Ma On Shan and Tuen Mun districts in Hong Kong’s New Territories, with most of the assets valued at more than $500 million, reports Mingtiandi. Among the properties is the 197,170sqft (18,300sqm) H.A.N.D.S shopping mall at the On Ting housing estate in Tuen Mun.

Link Asset Management has appointed HSBC, UBS and Cushman & Wakefield to advise on the disposal, with the trust targeting a December completion date for the transaction.

Set up to hold commercial properties formerly belonging to the city’s housing authority, owns about 155 shopping centres and markets, primarily in Hong Kong’s housing estates. It has started selling off assets considered non-core while building a portfolio of mainland properties.

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