Nine Entertainment Co. has confirmed the sale of its Willoughby home to a Hong Kong based property investor for $147.5m, but can remain on site for another 5 years.
The deal, subject to FIRB approval and completion requirements, is expected to see Euro Properties develop the site into apartments and / or mixed-use projects.
Nine took the property off the market in 2012 but it was returned in March following rezoning of the 2.9ha site for residential use. The original plan for the site was for about 600 dwellings but it was scaled back to 450 after community consultation.
Nine advises the sale will complete in two years after which it will be able to lease the site back, for up to a further three years, following which it will re-locate.
Simon Kelly, NEC Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer said “The move from the birthplace of Australian Free-to-Air television is a significant milestone for Nine. Our relocation to state of the art facilities will enable us to further optimise our operations as we evolve our business model in a digital world.
“This sale frees up surplus capital which provides us with significant flexibility to pursue strategic opportunities whilst underpinning our program of increased shareholder returns through our previously announced on-market share buyback and enhanced dividend payout policy.”
Net cash proceeds after tax are expected to be around $135m, with pre-tax annual lease costs of approximately $10m from completion.