Kaufland exits Australia, sells final sites
Norton Rose Fulbright has advised Kaufland on the sale of its distribution centres and development portfolio.
Firm: Norton Rose Fulbright (Kaufland).
Deal: Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has advised German supermarket giant Kaufland on the sale of its completed distribution centre in Melbourne, together with nine retail and industrial development sites across Australia.
Value: $4.2 billion.
Area: Retail, real estate.
Key players: Lead partners Adrian Jones and Will Webster were supported by partners Adam Smith, Luke van Grieken, and Ben Davis, senior associates Nicole Bury, Michelle Leong, and Scott Bulman, and associates James Lainas, Kasey Solar, and Sarah Gard.
Deal significance: Owned by the world’s fourth-largest retailer, Schwartz Group, Kaufland is winding down its operations after announcing in January it would withdraw from Australia, only two years after buying its first store site and six months after starting work on its first distribution centre.
The company listed nine sites for sale in Victoria, Queensland and South Australia through Colliers International after its shock decision in January to leave despite investing over half a billion dollars in property, staff and distribution.
Kaufland’s distribution centre is located at the Merrifield Business Park and is now occupied by global logistics business DHL. The development sites are located across Victoria, Queensland and South Australia and have been sold to prominent developers and retailers, including Woolworths, Aventus Group, and the South Australian government’s Renewal SA development arm.
With multiple interested parties engaged in the on-market sale process, the NRF Melbourne and Brisbane-based real estate team, led by partners Mr Jones and Mr Webster, managed the bidding and due diligence phase, contract negotiation and staggered completions.
“We are thrilled to have assisted our long-standing client Kaufland in divesting these sites, with successful deals being struck despite COVID-19 impacts on the market,” Mr Jones commented.
“The results show continued resilience in the market for high-quality logistics and development opportunities, and these transactions are a highlight in 2020 for our busy national real estate team.”