Intu Properties Pays Westfield $1.4B for 3 UK Retail Properties
- Apr 18, 2014
The largest shopping mall owner in the United Kingdom Intu Properties Plc. paid a total of 867.8 million GBP or $1.4 billion for three retail centers owned by the Westfield Group. The total financial value of the transaction includes working capital, Bloomerg.com reported recently.
Intu Properties has now gained ownership of Westfield’s Sprucefield retail park in Northern Ireland totaling 230,000 square feet of space, a 1.3 million square-foot retail center in the English city of Derby, as well as a 50 percent stake in the 1.4 million-square-foot Westfield Merry Hill near the city of Birmingham, one of the fastest growing cities in the U.K. The buyer is sourcing funds for the acquisition through a share sale projected to reap around $830 million, while also raising new debt facilities totaling approximately $700 million.
With the current rate of growth in the U.K.’s commercial real estate sector, the company is betting big on the profitability of its three new properties. The past 10 months have seen serious increase in the amounts invested in the United Kingdom’s retail sector, while last year saw a year-over-year increase in activity of around 50 percent in supermarket property investments compared to 2012. This underlines the strengthening of the overall retail market, data from Investment Property Databank Ltd. shows.
Funds that will be gained by Westfield will be used in the Sydney, Australia-based company’s other major ventures, with the entity currently focused on maintaining and developing new assets in the booming London market. The company currently owns half of the British capital’s Stratford shopping center, as well as the White City mall. The new project in discussion is a large-scale mall that the developer has planned for Croydon, one of the 11 metropolitan centers of Greater London, located in the southern part of area surrounding the capital city.