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Macquarie Countrywide Realises 68 Per Cent Gain

ASX / Media release

Macquarie Countrywide Realises 68 Per Cent Gain On Sale Of Interest In New Zealand Assets

7 December 2006

Macquarie CountryWide Trust (ASX:MCW) today announced the sale of a 50 per cent interest in its New Zealand portfolio, capturing strong investment demand to record a 68 per cent gain over acquisition cost base. The transaction comprises 18 of the Trust’s 19 New Zealand freestanding supermarkets and executes on the Trust’s ongoing strategy to take profits on mature assets and redeploy capital into higher returning opportunities.

Chief executive officer Steven Sewell said the transaction has allowed investors to realise attractive investment profits while maintaining asset control and geographic diversification. “Macquarie CountryWide owns one of the highest quality portfolios of freestanding supermarkets in New Zealand which has delivered above average income growth to investors. This transaction has enabled us to realise capital gains on these sought after assets while retaining exposure to their future growth potential.”

The portfolio has been sold to a private European investment company for a total price of $NZ103.5 million (A$89.6m), which is $NZ42.1 million (A$36.5m) over the acquisition cost base for the 50 per cent interest. The sale price negotiated represents an initial yield of
6.6 per cent. The deal remains subject to New Zealand Government Office of Overseas Investment approval which is expected in the near future.

Macquarie CountryWide will initially use the sale proceeds to pay down a substantial portion of its New Zealand debt. The increased borrowing capacity will enable the Trust to provide ongoing funding for the development pipeline and potential future acquisitions in existing or new markets.

Macquarie CountryWide first entered the New Zealand market in September 2000, purchasing 13 properties from Progressive Enterprises (which has since been acquired by Woolworths Ltd) in a sale and lease back arrangement. The portfolio grew to 19 assets over the last six years and has delivered over four per cent comparable net operating income growth on average each year since.

“The portfolio’s strong growth in value reflects our ability to build relationships with anchor tenants and enhance asset quality to improve trading performance,” Mr Sewell said.

The purchaser was introduced to Macquarie CountryWide by Tim Turner from Harcourts in New Zealand.
Macquarie CountryWide is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange with property assets of $5.0 billion. More than $A22 billion in property assets is managed by entities within the Macquarie Bank Group and by associates across a portfolio of listed and unlisted property trusts, unlisted development funds and property investment syndicates, globally.

For further information, please contact:

Steven Sewell
Chief Executive Officer
Macquarie CountryWide Trust
Ph: +61 2 8232 7217 Kylie Butcher
Head of Investor Relations
Macquarie Real Estate Capital
Ph: +61 2 8232 8516

Yolanda Beattie
Communications Manager
Macquarie Real Estate Capital
Ph: +61 2 8232 7227

All quoted figures are compared to the same period last year and currencies denominated in Australian currency unless otherwise stated.

This information has been prepared by Macquarie CountryWide Management Limited ABN 46 069 709 468 (MCML), the Responsible Entity of the Macquarie CountryWide Trust, without taking account of any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs and because of that, you should, before acting on this information, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. MCML does not receive fees in respect of the financial product advice it may provide.

Past performance is not a reliable indication of future performance. Due care and attention has been exercised in the preparation of forecast information, however forecasts, by their very nature, are subject to uncertainty and contingencies many of which are outside the control of MCML. Actual results may vary from any forecasts provided and any variation may be materially positive or negative.

MCML receives fees for operating MCW, which are calculated by reference to the value of the assets and the performance of MCW. Entities within the Macquarie Bank Group may also receive fees for managing the assets of, and providing resources to MCW.

© Scoop Media

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