Moelis Australia boosts assets with shopping centre purchase

(Reuters) - Investment bank Moelis Australia MOE.AX, backed by Singapore's SPH REIT SPHR.SI, has agreed to buy a 50% stake in an Australian shopping centre for A$670 million ($462.23 million), boosting its funds under management to around A$4.7 billion.

Moelis Australia has been appointed investment manager of the Marion Sub Trust for the purchase of the stake in the Westfield Marion Shopping Centre in South Australia from Lendlease Real Estate Investments Ltd. The Marion Sub Trust is owned by SPH REIT.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

The Marion shopping centre's co-owner and operator, Scentre Group SCG.AX, will become SPH REIT's joint venture partner after completion of the deal, the Singapore firm said in a statement on Thursday.

Moelis Australia said, post-deal, its funds under management would be around A$1 billion higher that at the end of December 2018.

Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler and Jane Wardell