CapitaLand sells stake in mothballed CapitaMall Wuhu

CapitaLand Retail China Trust (CRCT) and CapitaLand will divest their combined 100 per cent interests in CapitaMall Wuhu to an unrelated third party.

Located in Wuhu city in China’s Anhui Province, CapitaMall Wuhu is a five-storey shopping mall of around 45,000sqm that has been closed since the third quarter of last year, following the exit of its anchor tenant.

“The divestment of CapitaMall Wuhu is in line with our proactive asset-management strategy to optimise CRCT’s portfolio and enhance returns,” said CRCT Management Ltd CEO Tan Tze Wooi.

“As our 51-per-cent stake in CapitaMall Wuhu accounts for less than 1 per cent of CRCT’s asset size, its sale is expected to have minimal impact on CRCT’s core business. The sale proceeds will provide CRCT with greater financial flexibility to take advantage of market opportunities. We remain on the lookout for strategic opportunities to reconstitute and strengthen our portfolio.”

The transaction between the firms’ respective subsidiary and associate is based on the company’s adjusted net asset value – including (but not limited to) its interest in CapitaMall Wuhu of RMB210 million (US$31.25 million).

After taking into account the estimated fees, taxes and other related expenses, it is estimated that the net proceeds from the divestment would be RMB90.6 million ($13.48 million) for CRCT. The net divestment proceeds may be used for reducing existing debt and/or financing general corporate or working capital requirements. CapitaLand’s return was not disclosed.

CapitaLand Group’s president Lucas Loh commented: “The sale of CapitaMall Wuhu will unlock capital that can be redeployed to core assets in cities where CapitaLand enjoys scale and competitive advantage. We will stay disciplined in our capital-recycling efforts and continually review opportunities to optimise CapitaLand’s portfolio, which includes divestment of assets that are non-core or have limited growth.”

The divestment of CapitaMall Wuhu is expected to be completed in the second half of this year.

Following the divestment, CRCT’s portfolio will have 10 malls in seven Chinese cities, while CapitaLand’s retail network in China will comprise 51 malls in 21 cities.

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