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NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA-Australian developer Multiplex has pulled out of talks with New York City-based REIT New Plan Excel to buy 100 shopping centers in the US for A$1bn ($731 million).

The Australian developer confirmed in April it had entered discussions for the portfolio but it announced to the Australian Stock Exchange late yesterday that it had broken off the talks. “We refer to our announcement of [April 14] confirming discussions with a US REIT regarding a possible transaction involving a portfolio of retail assets within the US,” Multiplex said. “We now advise that these discussions have ceased. Should this position change at any time, a further announcement will be made.”

In mid-April New Plan Excel said it was exploring possible opportunities in Australia involving certain of its community and neighborhood shopping centers. But the statement at the time said no agreement had been reached and there was no assurance any deal would be completed. News reports in Australia later reported that a New Plan portfolio comprising almost 100 centers was shopped around Australian institutional investors. Tenants at the centers included Winn-Dixie, Kmart and super-discount stores like Big Lots.

Multiplex’s share price dropped 25 cents yesterday. The company’s shares have slumped in the past two months, falling from a post-float high of A$6.10 in February. Its stock has felt the affects of the news in late February that Multiplex will fail to break even on its contract to build the new Wembley Stadium in the UK, due to industrial disputes.

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