Residential firm in £11m disposal, including Manchester PRS site

The Wharf

Housing provider, Watkin Jones, has disposed of three private rented sector (PRS) properties, including one in Manchester.

The firm, which has an office in Chester, said the deal is one of three disposals in total, the other two being in Sheffield, worth a total of £11m.

After repayment of the related debt financing and disposal costs, the net cash inflow to the business will be an initial £9m in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2023 and a further £2m deferred payment in the first half of financial year 2024.

This will augment the group’s 2023 year-end cash position, as well as supporting the business’s ability to be proactive in the land market, it said.

The three non-core PRS assets have been sold to L1 Capital, an Australian independent global fund manager.

The portfolio comprises more than 117,000 sq ft with a total of 174 units, featuring, respectively, 78 units at Gateway and 43 at Impact, both located in Sheffield and 53 at The Wharf, in Droylsden, Greater Manchester, overlooking the marina.

This is Watkin Jones’ first transaction with L1 Property and marks the exit on assets which were constructed by Watkin Jones between 2006-8 and have been operated by the group since.

George Dyer, Watkin Jones group investment director, said: “We are pleased to undertake our first transaction with L1 Property.

“The sale of these assets represents the culmination of our business plan and will enable us to recycle the proceeds into further land opportunities as we look to grow our pipeline in the coming months.”

David Lamm, L1 Property chief executive, said: “We are enthusiastic about this transaction with Watkin Jones to acquire three landmark buildings in Sheffield and Greater Manchester, two cities we recognise for their dynamic economies and promising long term prospects.”

Thomas Collins, L1 Property chief operating officer, said: “This transaction aligns perfectly with our vision to enhance the living experience, add significant value through asset management, and continue to develop our fully integrated property management platform.”

Watkin Jones was advised in the transaction by Savills and Mishcon de Reya.

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