New Tenants For Masters Sites May Have To Wait
Plans from major retailers such as The Good Guys and JB Hi-Fi to move into Masters sites may have hit a hurdle, as landlords prepare to issue lease breach notices to Woolworths.
Landlords are worried that a deal struck between Woolworths and the Home Consortium, valued at $800 million, will give the Home Consortium control over potential payouts on existing leases, as well as influence over future lease agreements at the properties.
The Home Consortium has ties with a number of major retailers, with owners of Chemist Warehouse, Anaconda and Spotlight all backing the consortium. 21 leased Masters sites are included in the deal.
Some landlords have voiced their concerns, with one telling the Sydney Morning Herald that GA Australia, the company behind the recent Masters stock clearance, had essentially “sublicensed the site for the purpose of a fire sale.”
One Masters landlord is reported to have issued a breach notice recently, with others expected to take similar action in the near future. Landlords are highly critical that control of their own properties has been lost, claiming that the holdup caused by the Home Consortium deal does not allow them to re-lease their properties with potential future tenants.
Another landlord told the Sydney Morning Herald they simply wanted to put a new tenant in as soon as possible to reduce the damage of the downfall of Masters.
A deal is expected to be struck between the Home Consortium and landlords and property owners after December 11, the final trading day for Masters stores.