Property group acquires site for £26m

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Harworth Group, a leading regenerator of land and property for development and investment, has acquired off-market Saturn Park in Knowsley, Merseyside, for £26 million plus acquisition costs.

The purchase, which will be funded through existing financial resources, is in line with the Rotherham-based firm’s strategy to grow its predominantly industrial investment portfolio through the acquisition of high yielding properties with inherent value and growth potential.

Saturn Park is situated on a 35.2 acre site and comprises c.416,000 sq. ft of modern warehouse space across three units with ancillary offices, plus c.13.1 acres of open storage land. Together the site generates a passing rent of £2.14 million per annum with a WAULT to expiry of 5.25 years. This reflects a Net Initial Yield of c.7.7% and a reversionary yield of c.9.0%.

Located adjacent to Junction 4 of the M57, Saturn Park is conveniently positioned for access to The Port of Liverpool as well as the M58, M62 and M6 motorways.

The site’s warehouse space is let to two tenants including Singleton Trading, a specialist importer and distributor of toys and goods to the North West, which occupies two units totalling c. 317,600 sq. ft. The third c.77,000 sq. ft unit is let to Relonchem, an independent pharmaceutical company. In addition four tenants occupy the majority of the open storage land across five leases, and c. 10,500 sq. ft of the 22,000 sq. ft of office space is let to the NHS.

Harworth will use its significant asset management experience to drive further value at Saturn, including refurbishment works and enhanced marketing of the remaining vacant office space and land, whilst also exploring the potential for further development on the 4.25 acres of currently vacant land on the site.

Lynda Shillaw, chief executive of Harworth, said: “This off-market transaction is an excellent use of our significant financial headroom to further improve the resilience and depth of our investment portfolio, whilst also providing clear asset management opportunities to generate future value gains.

“The acquisition also underlines our ongoing commitment to invest in our core regions and given the obvious synergies to the Port of Liverpool, it directly supports Government efforts to rebalance the UK economy.”

Harworth’s existing investment portfolio generates £17.2 million of income per annum (as at 30 June 2020), making a considerable contribution to the Group’s profits and value gains whilst covering the company’s overheads.

In March 2020, Harworth appointed Richard Bousfield as Head of Income to boost its in-house asset management capabilities as it seeks to maximise capital values and rental income across the portfolio. He is also responsible for identifying and acquiring additional high-yielding investments with asset management potential, including the opportunity for further development.

Bousfield, commented on the purchase: “In buying Saturn Business Park in a matter of weeks, we’ve once again we’ve proved our ability to quickly transact and be a trusted counter-party for vendors. We remain firmly in the market for similar industrial property with asset management potential and I look forward to completing further deals in due course.”

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