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Australia

Telstra puts exchange properties into $1.4b property fund to raise cash

Telstra has formed an unlisted property trust that will hold some of its exchange properties, and offloaded a 49 per cent stake in it to group led by real estate investor Charter Hall for $700 million.

The newly formed trust will own 37 of Telstra's existing exchange properties, the telco said in a statement to the ASX on Friday morning. Telstra will keep a majority stake of 51 per cent in the trust and retain operational control of the properties.

Telstra is offloading a stake in its exchange properties to bolster its balance sheet.

Telstra is offloading a stake in its exchange properties to bolster its balance sheet.Credit:James Alcock

“When we announced our [future] strategy in June 2018 it included the goal of monetising up to $2 billion of assets to strengthen our balance sheet,” Telstra chief Andy Penn said in the statement.

"“Since then we have been working to unlock the true value of some of our assets and today’s agreement, when completed, will take us to around the $1 billion mark.”

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Adding to the exchange property trust, Telstra has also reached an agreement to sell part of its portfolio of data centres in Europe and Asia to global private equity firm I-Squared Capital, owners of HGC Global Communications, for $160 million.

AAP with BusinessDay

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