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SYDNEY-General Property Trust has established its first unlisted property fund worth A$2.15 billion (US$1.62 billion) as part of its strategy to build a funds management business. It is believed to be the largest wholesale fundraising in the Australian market.The fund, GPT Wholesale Office Fund, will initially own office assets at nine locations in the Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra central business districts.

GPT chief executive Nic Lyons says the development of a funds management platform would broaden the group’s base of capital partners. “The successful launch of GWOF represents a major strategic initiative in terms of GPT’s creation of a funds management platform in partnership with leading domestic and international wholesale investors,” he says. “We anticipate developing further products for our funds management strategy, consistent with our aim to continue to diversify the group’s income streams.”

The group will hold a 40% stake in the fund as well as holding A$1.7 billion (US$1.28 billion) in seven other office assets. GPT has appointed former Lend Lease fund manager Nicholas Harris as head of its wholesale fund division.

It received $A1.3 billion ($US976.88 million) last year as consideration for the sell down of its interest in the fund, which it will use to retire existing debt.

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