Thursday, August 1, 2013

News: Sale at Maplin

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An unnamed UK investor has purchased Maplin's head office and distribution warehouse at Brookfields Park in Rotherham for £11.5m.

The electronics retailer sells a range of 15,000 products to tech-savvy hobbyists as well as general consumers through a popular website and a network of over 200 retail outlets throughout the UK and Ireland.

Maplin, which has a turnover of more than £200m, moved to a 220,000 sq ft state of the art distribution centre and head office at Manvers in 2008.

The deal was revealed by Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) in its latest Industrial Market Review. For the first half of 2013, results showed that that total industrial investment across Yorkshire and the North East fell by 18% to £69.59m, compared to £85m in the first half of 2012.

The commercial property experts noted however that there continues to be healthy demand for quality product, as shown by the Maplin deal which followed from Legal & General's £23.165m purchase of Capita's call centre from Ventura House Limited Partnership in December.

Ben Roberts of the Capital Markets team at LSH said: "There is strong investor demand in the regions with a focus on high quality industrial investment opportunities. The challenge facing investors is the continuing lack of stock, which has led to a highly competitive market for the right assets."

Brookfields Park is part of the former Dearne Valley Enterprise Zone and is home to Next, Thetford, Capita, Royal Mail and Morphy Richards.

Maplin has 19 years left on its lease with the building currently producing £1m per annum which equates to £5.07 per sq ft. The 150 year leasehold was being advertised for sale with offers in excess of £12.2m which equates to a net initial yield of 7.75% after normal purchasers costs and represents a low capital value of £61.90 per sq ft.

The review also highlighted that despite a good supply of large, grade A warehouse and logistics facilities over 100,000 sq ft in the region, there is less than one month's supply left of the traditionally more sought after smaller sheds.

Looking ahead, LSH hopes that the Government's decision to allow new build developments to be exempt from empty rates for the first 18 months will go some way to kick-starting development.

LSH also expects growth within the manufacturing sector, with enquiries focussing on Design & Build opportunities at established and specialist locations, such as Rotherham's Advanced Manufacturing Park.

The review also showed that prime headline rents in Rotherham were around £4.50 to £4.75 and confirmed that Royal Mail has indeed signed up to lease the massive 151,000 sq ft Magna 34 warehouse, paying £4.30 in rent for a new Parcelforce depot.

Lambert Smith Hampton website

Images: Lambert Smith Hampton

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