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Deals & Dealmakers

Aussie firm QIC buys 51% of Ridge Hill in Westchester

Forest City Realty Trust announced a previously disclosed joint venture with QIC, one of the largest institutional investment managers in Australia.

Under the deal, QIC acquired 51 percent equity ownership of Westchester’s Ridge Hill, a 1.3 million-square-foot regional mall developed by Forest City in Yonkers.

Forest City retained 49 percent equity ownership and expects to receive total proceeds from creation of the joint venture of approximately $90 million.

The transaction also includes a provision under which Forest City has the opportunity to receive additional proceeds based on the center’s future performance.

Proceeds from the transaction will be used primarily to pay down debt as part of the company’s ongoing deleveraging program.

“Our strategic joint ventures with QIC have been a great success to date, as seen in the strong performance of our mall portfolio,” said David J. LaRue, Forest City president and chief executive officer.

“Expanding the joint ventures to include Westchester’s Ridge Hill now, as well as the expected additions later this year of Ballston Quarter (formerly Ballston Common Mall) and The Shops at Wiregrass, is a natural extension of this mutually beneficial relationship.”

Separately, Forest City also announced that it has leaseed home-improvement retailer Lowe’s 100,000 s/f at Ridgehill.

In addition to Ridge Hill, Forest City currently has joint ventures with QIC at eight other regional malls.

Steven Leigh, managing director of QIC Global Real Estate, said, “The agreement QIC has reached with Forest City sees us expand our interest in the attractive U.S. market, and further strengthens our relationship with Forest City, a highly experienced and long-term investor in real estate throughout the U.S.

“It further diversifies QIC’s existing U.S. retail property portfolio, providing a unique opportunity to take a strategic stake in a quality retail asset within a tightly held institutional asset class, and provides even further geographic exposure to the East Coast.”

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