REI buys retail scheme in Walsall for £7.7m

ACQUISITIVE Birmingham property investment company Real Estate Investors (REI) has exchanged contracts to acquire 59/75 Park Street in Walsall town centre for £7.7m in cash.

The property produces a rental income of £814,312 per annum and tenants include retailers Wallis, Burton, Superdrug, BHS and Waterstones.

REI has broken through the £100m gross assets ceiling with its latest acquisition.

Chief executive Paul Bassi said: “With this latest acquisition, our gross assets now exceed £100m, predominantly acquired during the property and financial market downturn.
“The portfolio is diverse, with active asset management opportunities and is now benefitting from an improved property market. 

“I anticipate an excellent year end with record gross property assets, contracted rental income and dividend payout to our shareholders.”

The news comes hard on the heels of REI’s half year results which saw the firm reporting pre-tax profits up to £2.6m compared to £769,000 for the same period last year – a 238%  increase.

AIM-listed REI was represented in the Walsall deal by property consultancy Knight Frank and Clark Brookes Turner Cary Solicitors. The vendor, Scottish Widows, were advised by Jackson Criss and law firm Addleshaw Goddard.

During the first half of 2014, REI has acquired property in Northfield, Birmingham, Leicester, Birmingham city centre, Smethwick, Sandwell, Bromsgrove, Worcester and Wolverhampton.

New tenants in the portfolio include HSBC, West Bromwich Building Society, Lunn Poly, First Secretary of State, WH Smith, WH Ireland, Royal College of Surgeons, Thomas Cook, Thomson Travel, Sharps Bedrooms, Boots UK Ltd, Marks and Spencer Simply Foods and NHS Property Services.

REI is planning to convert its status to a real estate investment trust (REIT) to improve tax efficiency.

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