Six UK shopping centres offloaded by Dutch pension fund

Ankerside Shopping Centre in Tamworth is under new ownership following the acquisition of its owners Real Estate Investments Nederland BV – a company holding a portfolio of six UK-wide shopping centres and a student accommodation portfolio.

New owner, the Irish family-owned business Martin Property Group, has acquired the national portfolio which includes 1.2million sq ft of retail space from Stichting Mars Pensioenfonds (SMP), a Dutch Pension Fund.

The other assets include Clarendon Shopping Centre Hyde, Exchange Shopping Centre Rochdale, Four Seasons Shopping Centre Mansfield, Westside Plaza in Edinburgh, and Angel Place Shopping Centre Bridgwater. A portfolio of student accommodation was also part of the transaction.

Gary Martin of Martin Property Group said: “We are delighted to complete this transaction and become the custodians of these important assets in locations right across the UK, particularly at time where shopping centres require hands on asset management. We will be focused on stabilising, repositioning and where possible developing the assets further.

“We look forward to working with the councils in each of these locations as they will be an important part of the future success of these assets. Tenants across the portfolio include Odeon, Lidl, NHS, Sky, Iceland, Primark, EE and Home Bargains among others.”

SMP decided to sell the company following the outcome of a strategic asset liability review.

SMP’s choice to sell to the Martin Property Group was based on the expectation that Martin Property Group will be best able to support the long-term potential of these shopping centres, with SMP achieving its aim to secure a buyer that is good for both the customers involved, and the communities these shopping centres serve.

PwC acted as lead advisor on the transaction.

PwC deals partner Mark Addley said: “We are pleased to have successfully delivered this transaction which demonstrates there is continued interest in supporting and investing in UK high street assets underpinned by a solid strategy, even though we are facing challenging economic headwinds.”

Steven Lewis of Lewis & Partners acted on behalf of Martin Property Group alongside Mark Kingsley who is chief legal counsel to the Martin Property Group.

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