Friday, February 20, 2015

News: Parkgate Shopping on sale - reports

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Property Week reports that leading retail destination, Parkgate Shopping in Rotherham, has been put up for sale by its owners.

Owned by Hercules Unit Trust (HUT), which is advised by British Land and managed by Schroders, Parkgate Shopping is one of the largest retail parks in the UK, home to over 40 shops, it is valued at over £100m to the trust via a subsidiary, the Rotherham Unit Trust.

Writing in the national property magazine, Richard Williams reports that Hercules has appointed agents at CBRE to market a £300m portfolio comprising almost 1m sq ft across four secondary out-of-town retail parks in the UK. The largest retail park in the portfolio is Parkgate Shopping, which is 575,000 sq ft.

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In 1987, Parkgate Retail World opened as part of the regeneration of large areas of reclaimed land formerly occupied by the Park Gate Iron and Steel Co. The park has grown and is currently 100% let with recent openings by Poundland and Wilkinson, who have both taken ten year leases. Attracting over nine million visitors a year, it was ranked as the fifth best retail park in the UK by retail consultancy, Javelin Group in its latest VENUESCORE report which assesses the UK's leading 3,000+ commercial venues.

The Hercules Unit Trust is a Jersey-based property unit trust that owns and manages 19 retail warehouse and shopping parks, providing around 4.5 million sq ft and is worth around £1.5 billion.

Unit trusts are collective funds that allow private investors to pool their money in a single fund that is then managed by professional fund managers, thus spreading their risk across a range of investments. Returns are created by rental income and property sales made in response to changing market conditions.

HUT acquired Parkgate in a £260m deal from developers, the Stadium Group in 2005, representing an equivalent yield of 5.25%. As part of the same transaction, Stadium acquired Newport Retail Park from Hercules for £60m.

In 2014, British Land agreed to purchase £41m of additional units in Hercules, taking British Land's share to 54.2%, which meant that the trust would become a subsidiary of British Land.

British Land is one of the largest property development and investment companies in the UK and owns and manages a portfolio of commercial property worth £17.1 billion. This includes Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield, which it owns alongside Norwegian sovereign wealth fund Norges.

Parkgate Shopping website

Images: Parkgate Shopping

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