Property Week - October 31, 2008
A Ukrainian investor is under offer to buy the British Land-owned Debenhams block in London’s West End for £150m.
It is thought the investor is the same Ukrainian company which recently purchased 1 Old Bond STreet for around £14m from Scottish Widows Investment Partnership in a deal reflecting a net initial yield of 3.9%.
The company approached British Land to buy the 366,700 sq ft building which occupies a prime position on London’s main shopping street and is the department store operator’s flagship store. It has been known for some time that British Land is seeking to reduce its in-town retail exposure.
British Land, the UK’s second-largest REIT, is an investor in 36 department stores, 24 owned directly and 12 owned within the British Land Fraser joint venture.
Of those owned directly, 22 are subject to leaseback to Debenhams for a minimum of 26 years unexpired. In total these comprise 3.3m sq ft in locations including the flagship London store, a 466,000 sq ft store on Market Street in Manchester, and a 140,000 sq ft store in St Davids, Cardiff.
The total gross annual rent passing is £30.3m. The leases provide for minimum 2.5% per annum rental increases and five-yearly open market reviews from 2019 onwards.
British Land declined to comment.
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