Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC is set to bankroll Charter Hall Group’s acquisition of a $1 billion stake in a portfolio of Ampol-owned petrol stations.

Charter Hall and GIC have teamed up to buy a 49 per cent stake in 250 petrol stations operated by Ampol. SMH

As first reported by Street Talk on Sunday, the Asian investment giant – which has more than $US100 billion ($140 billion) in assets under management – is Charter Hall’s financing partner as the pair pursue a 49 per cent stake in the 250 petrol stations.

Sources said the transaction – expected to be done at about a 5.5 per cent capitalisation rate, in line with Charter Hall’s BP acquisition last year – was close to being signed off, with lawyers combing through the agreement and finalising terms. An announcement is slated for Wednesday.

The David Harrison-run property heavyweight has been in exclusive negotiations with Ampol – formerly known as Caltex – on the $1 billion stake since July, as revealed by this column.

Charter Hall’s exclusivity came after an on-again, off-again auction run by UBS’s Tim Church-helmed real estate team, which was briefly held up while Ampol and its bankers saw off a takeover play from Canada’s Couche-Tard.

It’s a case of getting the band back together for GIC and Charter Hall, which are by no means strangers to one another.

The Singaporean fund partnered with Charter Hall in November last year when the pair bought an office tower in western Sydney’s Parramatta for $415 million off Canadian giant Brookfield.

A couple of months before that, Charter Hall paid $900 million to GIC to buy a half stake in Sydney office building – and investment banker ground zero – Chifley Tower.

Flurry of direct real estate transactions

News of the sale follows a busy few months for direct real estate deals and UBS in particular, which is overseeing more than $4 billion worth of live auctions.

All at once, the Swiss bank is bringing to market Qube’s $2.5 billion Moorebank logistics park, the Ampol stake and David Jones’ property portfolio.

UBS also advised Telstra on the sale of its Melbourne data centre to Centuria Industrial REIT last week for $416.7 million – a record low 4.2 per cent cap rate – and assisted Qube in offloading its Minto logistics facility to Charter Hall last month.

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