Snow joke as owners sell Chill Factore

LANDMARK leisure attraction Chill Factore has changed hands in a deal worth £15.5m.

Based next to the Trafford Centre and next to Barton Bridge by the M60, Chill Factore incorporates: a 180m indoor real snow ski slope, the longest in the UK; a climbing wall; and 16 retail and restaurant units.

Its new owner is property investment group Development Securities – which previously owned the Manchester Arena –  which has acquired Extreme Cool Limited (ECL), the owner and operator of the facility. The deal as completed in a joint venture with Pemberstone Investments, an existing Extreme Cool  hareholder, and was partly financed with a £10.5m ebt facility from ICG-Longbow.

Completed in November 2007, Chill Factore’s occupancy rates are high at 94% by floor area with tenants including Nando’s, Snow and Rock, Evans Cycles and JD Wetherspoons. In total, revenues from the ski slope and retail units will generate an income to Development Securities of around £1.5m per annum.

Chill Factore is the anchor tenant in the Trafford Quays Leisure Village, a popular mixed-use leisure and retail destination.  The venue currently attracts between 1.2 million and 1.4 million visitors per year.

Matthew Weiner of Development Securities said: “Chill Factore is a very popular leisure destination in Manchester with a wide catchment area, a loyal customer base and good brand recognition.

“Drawing on our experience and success in managing real estate based operational businesses such as the Manchester Arena, we are confident that alongside our joint venture partners, we can improve footfall, attract additional tenants and drive rental income to increase the value of this popular venue.”

Morwenna Angove, chief executive of Chill Factore, added: “This is fantastic news for the business.  Chill Factore is one of the region’s most popular and iconic leisure attractions and this transaction will help in further consolidating our position as the leading family leisure destination in the North West.
“Importantly, there will be no changes to the team running the attraction and it is very much business as usual.  2014 was a record year for the business, partly due to the Sochi Effect which led to a massive interest in snow sports nationwide, this not only cemented the venue as a key destination for active families but as a breeding ground for bright young snow sports stars.

“As a result of the acquisition, the business will be able to increase investment to further enhance guest service and new product development, in addition to launching a TV campaign in February this year.”
Livingstone partners advised the vendors on the transaction.

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