Coles divesting from WA retail assets

Coles_Orana_Albany-97Coles is divesting from three retail assets across Western Australia in an effort to raise capital ahead of its looming demerger from parent company Wesfarmers.

The properties, valued collectively at $50 million, are being offered for sale together or individually, and include two freestanding supermarkets in Orana, Albany and Vasse, as well as a Coles Express petrol station in Vasse.

CBRE’s Richard Cash said the strong tenant covenant and location of the assets would lead to buyer interest.

“With the south-west being WA’s fastest growing region and among Australia’s top five over the past 10 years, the opportunity to acquire a substantial retail footprint in the area backed by a major national retailer, will be strongly sought after,” Cash said. “These properties are ideally positioned to benefit from not only the high level of traffic through the state’s number one tourism region, but the infrastructure investment currently underway.”

Wesfarmers recently detailed its demerger with Coles, noting the supermarket is expected to have approximately $2 billion of net debt and operating lease commitments of approximately $9.6 billion post-demerger. The parent company will retain a 15 per cent minority ownership in the supermarket, as well as a 50 per cent ownership of loyalty program FlyBuys.

“Maintaining a strategic stake in Coles provides an important connection with Wesfarmers to reinforce opportunities to collaborate in the data, digital and loyalty areas,” Wesfarmers managing director Rob Scott said.

“Flybuys will be better able to realise its potential as a leading data and loyalty company through the ongoing support and investment of both Coles and Wesfarmers and by leveraging the broader networks of the Wesfarmers Group, including the existing partnerships with Kmart and Target.”

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