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AustralianSuper Makes Landmark Investment in UK Retail Space

AustralianSuper, Australia’s Melbourne-based superannuation fund, has agreed to purchase a 50% stake in thecentre:mk, a major regional shopping center from BT Pension Scheme for £270 million (US$ 442.5 million). Hermes Real Estate Investment Management acted on behalf of BTPS.

According to a news release issued by AustralianSuper, the purchase is in line with a strategy announced late last year to begin making more direct investments in certain asset classes. AustralianSuper estimates the new mandate should save its members hundreds of millions of dollars in fees as well as provide the superannuation fund with “more direct control over the management of its investments.”

Henderson Global Investors partnered with AustralianSuper as an advisor on the deal. “Since being appointed by AustralianSuper in June, we have worked collaboratively with Jack and his team to identify an optimum entry point into the UK retail market. thecentre:mk ticked the boxes across all criteria, from quality of asset, location and catchment through to opportunities for long term growth and asset management opportunities. We look forward to working with Hermes in driving value from this asset, on behalf of AustralianSuper,” said Myles White, Director of Property, Retail for Henderson.

“The purchase is AustralianSuper’s first direct investment for the property portfolio as part of its internal investment management strategy,” said AustralianSuper in a statement.

thecentre:mk in Milton Keynes, a city northwest of London, contains 1.3 million square feet and houses 220 retail units.

CIC Sells 10% Logicor Stake to Blackstone Fund

The China Investment Corporation (CIC) is selling a 10% stake of in European warehouse firm Logicor Ltd to a real estate fund managed by The Blackstone Group. Furthermore, CIC also hired Blackstone to oversee and manage Logicor’s warehouses and logistic properties portfolio.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Fintech Affirm Raises $200 Million in Series E Led By Singapore’s GIC

Affirm Inc., a financial technology firm which provides instant loans to consumers as an alternative to credit cards for their online shopping, has raised US$ 200 million in a Series E round lead by Singapore’s GIC Private Limited, with participation from Khosla Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Spark Capital, Caffeinated Capital, and Ribbit Capital. The new infusion of capital brings the San Francisco-based company’s total funding to US$ 450 million and a reported valuation of US$ 2 billion.

The company is founded by Max Levchin, a co-founder of PayPal (part of the PayPal mafia, dubbed by the tech press). Max Levchin is also an advisory board member of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFSB) in the United States.

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CHANGE: Saudi Arabia to Re-Open Movie Theaters, PIF Inks MoU with AMC

The Saudi Arabian government is ending its 35-year ban on cinemas. Next year, the government will allow cinemas to open. This watershed moment provides opportunities for entertainment companies to invest in Saudi Arabia and the surrounding region.

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