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(Ian Ritter is national online editor for GlobeSt.com/RETAIL.)

BIRMINGHAM, AL-Colonial Properties Trust has completed a majority sale of six regional malls to a joint venture of two Australian firms. The price was $362 million. The firms, GPT Group and Babcock & Brown, now own 90% of the malls, which are located throughout the Southeast, while locally based Colonial will hold on to the remaining share of the assets.

Colonial will continue to lease and manage the centers. The malls Colonial sold are: the 487,258-sf Colonial Mall Myrtle Beach (SC); the 507,195-sf Colonial Mall Greenville (NC); the 1.3-million-sf Colonial Mall Bel Air in Mobile, AL; the 400,000-sf Colonial Mall Valdosta (GA); the 509,736-sf Colonial Mall Glynn Place in Brunswick, GA; and the 548,000-sf Colonial University Village in Auburn, AL. Anchors include Bass Pro Shops, J.C. Penney and Sears.

The deal, brokered by New York City-based Granite Partners, fits with Colonial’s retail strategy of focusing on open-air centers instead of malls. In the summer, the company sold two centers, Colonial Mall Macon (GA) and Colonial Mall Burlington (NC), to the Lakewood, NJ-based Lightstone Group for $170 million.

The company also owns or manages 48,100 apartment units and 20.2 million feet of office space. Earlier this year Colonial was part of the $1.8-billion acquisition of Boca Raton, FL-based office owner CRT.

The Sydney-based GPT Group owns A$9 billion of multiple property types in Australia, including retail, office, hotels and industrial. The Colonial acquisition is the firm’s first in the US.

Babcock & Brown is an investment and advisory group based in Sydney. The firm invests in real estate, across multiple property types, and other industries worldwide.

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