SUPERANNUATION funds have moved further into the retail property sector with the signing of a $371.4 million deal between Federation Centres, formerly Centro Properties, and ISPT Pty Ltd.

The deal involves the sale of a 50 per cent stake in each of four sub-regional shopping centres and a convenience centre by Federation Centres, with the funds being used for redevelopment and acquisitions across the rest of the portfolio.

The four sub-regional shopping centres are at Mandurah in Western Australia, Cranbourne and Karingal in Victoria, and Warriewood in NSW. The convenience centre, Halls Head, is also in Mandurah.

The chief executive, Steven Sewell, said with the recent change of name to Federation Centres the company was a much different organisation and the transaction with ISPT continued to transform the business.

Following the conclusion of court action and debt issues under its previous guise as Centro a year ago, Federation Centres has completed co-ownership deals in eight centres with a gross value of $2.1 billion.

The first of these was a property portfolio that included the flagship The Glen centre in Melbourne, which was sold to the private Perron group.

The Australian head of retail investments at Jones Lang LaSalle, Simon Rooney, who advised on the sale, said the move by Federation Centres was another example of Australian real estate investment trusts (A-REITs) introducing joint venture partners on retail assets while retaining development and asset management rights.

''This enables A-REITs to unlock capital to move forward with development pipelines and, in some instances, to fund share buyback programs and repay debt,'' said

Mr Rooney.