June 27, 2019 / 4:00 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Australia's Scentre sells Sydney office towers for $1.1 bln

(Adds details and background)

June 27 (Reuters) - Australian shopping mall owner Scentre Group Ltd on Thursday said it has disposed of its Sydney CBD office towers for A$1.52 billion ($1.06 billion) and announced a share buyback programme worth A$800 million.

The company said it sold the office towers to certain funds managed by U.S.-based private equity firm Blackstone Group .

Scentre will grant a 299-year leasehold interest to Blackstone over the office components, the company said.

The sale proceeds will result in dilution of about 0.4 cents per security to funds from operations (FFO) in 2019, the Australian firm said, adding that the forecast distribution for 2019 remained unchanged at 22.60 cents per security.

Last month, Scentre announced the sale of a 50% stake in the Westfield Burwood shopping centre for about A$575 million, to privately held property investor Perron Group.

Shortly after both transactions were completed, Scentre said it plans to launch an A$800 million buyback programme after its 2019 half-year results on August 22.

Scentre shares rose after the announcement, trading up 1.3%, as of 0347 GMT, while the broader benchmark was little changed.

$1 = 1.4302 Australian dollars Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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