Centro Retail and Centro Properties Group have reached an agreement to merge creating a new listed Australian retail property vehicle (A-REIT).

This comes after both companies requested for a trading half with the ASX on Monday, saying it was due to a “pending announcement of a potential transaction”.

According to CER, the proposed A-REIT will compromise of a $4.4 billion portfolio of retail properties, ownership of one of the largest managers and unlisted retail property funds in the country managing a further $2.5 billion of retail assets under management and investment in those unlisted funds.

Peter Day, CER chairman, said the agreement represents another milestone in the company’s restructure process, which saw the sale of CER’s US portfolio earlier in the year.

“As indicated in our 1 March 2011 announcement, at the time of the
US sale we had merely commenced discussions around Aggregation as a possibility and indicated that there was substantial further work required. That work has now been largely completed, with all parties agreeing that Aggregation is the most appropriate way forward for their stakeholders,” he said.

“The new A-REIT will offer CER securityholders exposure to a steady and stable income from a portfolio of well managed and appropriately geared high quality retail properties, and a well established retail syndicate funds management business. Completion of this transaction would be a re-defining event for CER.”