Charter Hall CEO’s Eye for Deals Propels Property Giant to $45 Billion Value (Brisbane Times)

December 21, 2020 – As COVID-19 laid waste to Australia’s borders and investor fear halved the value of the Australian sharemarket’s A-REIT index earlier this year, property powerhouse Charter Hall went on a buying spree.

Ploughing on through the national lockdown and pandemic uncertainty, it leapt on a portfolio of supermarket Aldi logistics warehouses, paying $648 million for its efforts. That was quickly followed by a dozen more deals and, by the end of the year, Charter Hall had outlayed a whopping $3.5 billion on real estate during one of the most tumultuous business years in living memory.

The group, led by industry stalwart David Harrison, left competitors in its wake.

Its share and asset prices defied the pandemic gravity holding back a host of other landlords, particularly its once-proud retail counterparts – Vicinity Centres and Scentre Group – whose malls were decimated by harsh social distancing requirements.

And by November, shares in the group had soared above their February pre-pandemic heights.

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