GPT has gone quiet on its bid to sell the Wollongong Central shopping centre, after telling investors that news a sale had been completed was premature.
It had been reported last week that the shopping centre - which GPT had tried to sell in 2018 - was being sold to Sydney property fund manager Haben.
But all parties have gone quiet as the deal - said to be worth $400 million, although this has not been confirmed - is nutted out.
GPT on Monday told the Australian Securities Exchange there were sales discussions going on over Wollongong Central and Darwin's Casuarina Square - but nothing was final.
"In reference to various media articles recently published, the GPT Group confirms it is currently in discussions with two separate parties regarding the potential divestments of Wollongong Central and Casuarina Square," GPT's statement to the ASX, authorised by CEO Bob Johnston, said.
"There is no certainty that these discussions will lead to either transaction being completed.
"GPT will update the market as appropriate."
GPT's investor relations manager did not return calls and the company's media consultant said there was "no comment".
Stories published in national press last week were well informed from the would-be purchaser's point of view, going to far as to say Haben intended to set up a special investment vehicle - a fund to be called the Haben Wollongong Trust.
This gave credence to the talk among some Wollongong Central tenants this week that the news was likely leaked by the purchaser, while GPT staff are sworn to silence.
Haben, a private funds manager, did not respond to the Mercury's enquiries.
Colliers agent Lachlan MacGillivray, who is believed to be handling the sale, did not respond to calls.
Shopping centres, including Wollongong Central, have taken a hit to their value since the pandemic struck, with a lack of foot traffic forcing asset writedowns for property owners.
Meanwhile the redeveloped Warrawong Plaza has been sold by owner Blackstone for $136 million to the ASX-listed Elanor Investors Group (ENN).
ENN co-head of real estate Michael Baliva said the addition of a new Woolworths would strengthen the centre's performance.
"The execution of the fund's repositioning strategy will transform Warrawong Plaza into the only triple supermarket anchored centre in the Wollongong region, providing a key point of difference to other retail centres in the trade area," he said in a statement to the ASX.
"The repositioning strategy will also improve the centre's occupancy, trading performance and lease expiry profile to enhance its income and deliver a strong uplift in capital value for fund investors."