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Case Study | Woodgrove Centre: Divestment & Acquisition

Colliers Asia - Case Study - Woodgrove Centre Nanaimo Canada

We didn't see borders. We saw an opportunity to demonstrate our collaboration across regions.

Location (City)

Asset Type

Transaction Date

Size (Sqm)

Value (USD)


Retail (Regional shopping centre) September 2020 approx. 68,800 $150 million

Services provided:

  • Colliers Asia: Acquisition
  • Colliers Canada: Divestment

Buyer: Central Walk (Barbados) Holding Ltd

Seller: Ivanhoe Cambridge


The Challenge

  • Pricing and commercial terms
  • Financing structure
  • COVID-19 related disruption

An example of an international cross-border acquisition which was complicated by cultural differences in business practices. This created a wide gap between the vendor and acquirer in terms of price negotiation, communication, and contract provisions.

The original deal, which encompassed two malls, was agreed in late February 2020 , but collapsed following the outbreak of COVID-19 in mid-March. Commercial banks in Canada stopped all discussion of debt financing for the acquisition.

As a result of the disruption and uncertainty created by COVID-19, the acquirer considered withdrawing from the deal. 

The Strategy

Seamless collaboration between Colliers International offices.

The Colliers Hong Kong and Vancouver offices worked seamlessly to overcome the inertia in the entire transaction process. The key strategy was to dilute conceptual differences by highlighting neutral international practices to ensure fairness and equitability for both vendor and acquirer.

Additionally, Colliers worked to structure different financing solutions, including trust financing and full equity payment, to overcome the lack of debt financing available.

The Solution

Colliers proposed:

  • The acquirer to first procure one mall with its own equity, which made part of the deal happen; and
  • Re-negotiating commercial terms to reflect the disruption to rental income due to COVID-19. 

Colliers employed a divide-and-rule approach by negotiating with each party separately, as opposed to direct negotiations. This allowed both sides more space and time to consider options.

The Result

The acquirer successfully procured one mall out of two in the original deal, securing a discount from the price originally agreed.

The vendor achieved its objective of divesting an asset that it had the mandate and timeline pressure to exit.

The transaction is a significant case study of collaboration between two Colliers offices in separate regions, represented by Dominic Chung from Colliers Hong Kong and Morgan Dyer from Colliers Canada.


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Hong Kong SAR China

Dominic Chung

Executive Director | Asia

Capital Markets & Investment Services

Hong Kong

Dominic has more than 30 years of real estate experience, with more than 26 years focusing on investment transactions, 20 years exposure to mainland China market. 

Prior to joining Colliers International, Dominic was the Co-head of Investment Properties for China and the Head of Investment Properties for Hong Kong at CBRE, respectively during the period from 2010 to 2014. He revamped the company’s investment agency business in Hong Kong and China. He built the Hong Kong investment department from a small team into a sizeable investment agency, with a strong market presence and record earnings in subsequent years.

Prior to CBRE, Dominic was with Jones Lang LaSalle from 2005 to 2009 as the Managing Director of Shenzhen, China and Head of Investment Sale, South China.  Dominic also ran his own investment agency in the late 1990s in Hong Kong and in Shanghai from 2002 to 2003. Besides Hong Kong and mainland China, Dominic has substantial cross-border transaction experience in investment markets in Asia and North America.

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