Stockland cashed up for expansion

Property group, Stockland, has raised $400 million in new equity to help fund further retail expansions and repay its debts.

The news comes after reports the group would cut around 80 jobs as part of a renewed focus on cost cutting, with most changes to be effective from July. Earlier this month, Stockland confirmed the departure of its CFO Tim Foster, and head of residential Mark Hunter.

According to the Australian Financial Review, investment bank UBS opened an institutional book build yesterday afternoon, after market close, with bids due by 8pm.

The raising was at $3.88 a security, a 2.5 per cent discount to the Tuesday close of $3.98. Stockland will issue a share purchase plan for retail investors, the AFR reports.

Mark Steinhart said retail was the property’s group greatest immediate opportunity.

Stockland owns 41 retail centres across the country, with 70 per cent of those considered regional centres. By the end of year, the value of Stockland’s centres is expected to be around $5.5 billion. The group is reportedly aiming to have a $7.5 billion portfolio by 2018 – equivalent to 50 per cent to 70 per cent of total assets – and be the fourth largest retail property owner in the country.

Stockland has 18 developments scheduled for the next 12 months, with construction currently underway for its $115 million redevelopment of its Hervey Bay shopping centre in Queensland. This month, the group completed a $330 million redevelopment of its Shellharbour centre in regional NSW.

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