Legal & General Property acquires Fremlin Walk Shopping Centre in Maidstone from Europa Capital and SCOOP AM LLP.
11 January 2011
Legal & General Property ("LGP"), today announces that, on behalf of its UK Property Income Fund (the "Fund"), it has acquired Fremlin Walk Shopping Centre, Maidstone, from a joint venture between Europa Fund III, the pan-European fund managed by Europa Capital, and SCOOP AM LLP. The property was acquired for c. £92 million.
Situated in the centre of Maidstone, Kent, the modern, fashion-orientated, open-air shopping centre comprises 350,000 sq ft of prime retail space and a 760 space car park. Anchored by a 100,000 sq ft House of Fraser department store, the site comprises 48 retail units in total, let to a range of blue chip tenants, including H&M, Next, Zara and Boots. The average unexpired lease term is 11.3 years with 97% of the income secured against national multiple retailers.
As a major commercial centre in the south east, Maidstone benefits from excellent transport links, including close proximity to the M20 and M25, as well as an affluent and broad-based catchment area. Healthy footfall figures have been recorded for the shopping centre, with numbers steadily improving year-on-year since 2006, despite a recent national decline due to economic conditions. Over the past 18 months a number of new lettings have been agreed, including Laura Ashley, Pandora, Office Shoes and Prêt a Manger.
Rob Sim, Partner of Europa Capital, said:
"We have been very pleased with the success of investment in Fremlin Walk with our partners, SCOOP AM, as it has provided the Fund with a strong income cashflow over the past 18 months. The offer from Legal & General Property persuaded us to make an early sale although there are still value enhancement opportunities in the property as we see further improvements in retailer demand."
Charlie Walker, Senior Fund Manager for the UK Property Income Fund, comments:
"Fremlin Walk Shopping Centre represents a good opportunity to acquire a core, multi-let, mid-sized shopping centre at an attractive yield. Purchased off-market, the deal is in line with the Fund’s strategy of identifying well-located assets with a strong tenant base but still offering the potential for active management."
CBRE advised Legal & General Property whilst Europa Capital and SCOOP AM were advised by DTZ.
Notes to editors
Legal & General Property:
Legal & General Property (LGP) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) and one of the largest institutional property fund managers in the UK. LGIM had funds under management of over £342bn as at 30 September 2010, whilst LGP manages or co-manages 16 separate funds or vehicles and 2 segregated mandates, with an aggregate asset value of over £9.4bn as at 30 September 2010. These funds include:
Specialist Pooled Funds
The Leisure Fund Limited Partnership; Industrial Property Investment Fund; UK Logistics Fund; Arlington Business Parks Partnership; and the English Cities Fund
Single Asset Vehicles
Bracknell Regeneration Partnership; Central Saint Giles Partnership; Performance Retail Limited Partnership and Warrington Retail Limited Partnership
Life Fund; Linked Pensions; Linked Life; Managed Fund; Property Unit Trust, UK Property Income Fund; and LPI Income Property Fund.
LGP’s UK-focused fund management platform has built and retained a strong track record of out-performance across the sector. Owing to its size, diversity and penetration, it benefits from best in class banking and property industry contacts which, along with its wealth of in-house skill and expertise, have enabled it to continue to attract and secure high quality market opportunities. Taking a client-centric approach, the business places the highest priority upon integrity and transparency. Sector specialists cover each sphere of the market and are supported by LGP’s market-leading research capability.
LGP’s sector specialism’s cross all facets of the real estate market. In particular, the Company has a major development platform, responsible for delivering the West End office market’s latest landmark, Central Saint Giles, and currently involved in developing two further high profile London schemes, Walbrook Square and Agar Street, as well as significant town-centre retail regeneration projects, including Bracknell, Northampton and Eastbourne.
The UK Property Income Fund aims to generate strong returns through careful stock selection, acquiring larger lots size assets where there is a yield advantage. The Fund is seeking assets with secure income streams and the opportunity to capitalise on LGP’s strong track record of asset management and its sector specialist skill set. The Fund is set apart from its competition owing to its highly innovative debt structure which enables both geared and ungeared subscriptions, providing investors with flexibility to select their optimal level of leverage.
About Europa Capital
Europa Capital is an established real estate fund management group operating from offices across Europe. The Rockefeller Group is a strategic investor alongside management. Since 1995, Europa Capital’s Principals have collectively raised 6 real estate funds and committed to over 70 transactions totalling some €.0 billion across 17 European countries.
Europa Capital closed two new investment funds for European property investment in 2008 being Europa Fund III and Europa Emerging Europe which invests in Eastern Europe. Together, these funds give Europa Capital €95m of additional equity to invest.
The Europa Funds benefit from Europa Capital’s network of exclusive Country Partners, who co-invest in acquisitions made by the Europa Funds in their territory. Many of the Country Partners have worked closely with the Principals of Europa Capital during the last 20 years. Further information can be found at www.europacapital.com.
Europa Capital Partners LLP and Europa Capital LLP are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
About SCOOP AM LLP
SCOOP AM is a property asset management business, providing tailor-made solutions for the effective delivery of asset and property management services.
SCOOP AM is a joint venture between Gemtree Limited and Guildhouse UK Limited, established to take advantage of strategic buying opportunities in the UK commercial property market. SCOOP AM co-invests in projects under management and offers investors an opportunity to participate in specific individual UK real estate active management situations and to share