CapitaLand Mall Asia, which is wholly owned by mainboard-listed CapitaLand, has signed its first third-party management contract to manage the retail component of a mall in China.
The contract with Changsha Pilot Investment Holdings Group is for Fortune Finance Centre, an integrated development in Changsha, the provincial capital of Hunan, CapitaLand said yesterday.
It said the deal marks the beginning of an enhanced asset-light strategy to enlarge its mall network through third-party management contracts to complement its core strategy of developing, owning and managing malls.
The scope of the contract covers asset planning, pre-opening and retail management for a total gross floor area, excluding the carpark, of 95,000 sq m.
Currently under construction, the mall is targeted to begin operations in end-2018. It is owned by Changsha Pilot Investment Holdings, a Chinese state-owned developer which currently has seven projects in Changsha.
Mr Jason Leow, chief executive of CapitaLand Mall Asia, said: "We continue to be on the lookout for suitable acquisition opportunities to grow our mall portfolio even as we seek to enlarge our network through third-party management contracts.
"By managing quality third-party malls for which we have a right of first refusal to acquire, we are also paving the way for future acquisitions."
He added: "Through this multi-pronged approach, we will be able to maximise opportunities to expand our mall and retailer network, increase recurring income and further strengthen our leadership in the shopping mall sector in the region."
With this contract, CapitaLand doubles its presence in Changsha, where it currently owns and manages CapitaMall Yuhuating, a 62,000 sq m mall. It has a network of 65 malls in China.
Across Asia, CapitaLand now manages 104 malls in Singapore, China, Malaysia, Japan and India.