Chinese-backed developer stalks Grocon's Barangaroo interest

Grocon is under pressure to secure major investors for its portion at the heart of the new downtown district - an office tower of up to 50,000 square metres - before its own line of credit runs out in September.

The bidding was opened late last month, picking up interest from local players like Charter Hall and Investa, as well as from offshore investors. Keenly watching on is Chinese-backed developer Aqualand. According to sources, a buy-out of Grocon by its consortium partner is under consideration.

Grocon, along with Scentre and Aqualand, was awarded the right to develop the jewel in the Barangaroo crown after a drawn-out process last November.

Grocon had tied up a $40 million loan with a non-bank lender in December, after a financing deal unexpectedly fell through. The company is to pay back $51 million on September 22. The annualised interest rate then comes out at around 37 per cent.

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