Thursday, March 9, 2017

News: Rotherham call centre sold

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Europa Capital and partner Addington Capital have sold a 62,652 sq ft call centre in Rotherham to a privately owned Isle of Man property company for £6.875m.

Home to Webhelp, and around 900 staff, the Dearne Valley site includes the freehold of the modern two-story building, with 440 car park spaces. It is let until March 2024 at a rent of £675,000 per annum (£10.75 psf). The deal represents a net initial yield of 9.25%.

The joint venture partners acquired the property as part of Prospect Portfolio in January 2016. The portfolio of 28 assets was bought from receiver on behalf of creditor PIMCO.

The assets were previously owned by individual borrowers. The loans secured against the properties were originally issued by Northern Rock. They were subsequently sold to Lehman Brothers which used them as collateral in the midst of the financial crisis to pay debts owed to German Bundesbank. This debt was subsequently sold as part of a wider loan portfolio to PIMCO.

In the recent deal, Allsop and Cushman & Wakefield acted jointly for the seller and Andrew Dixon & Company of Telford advised the purchaser.

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Matthew Allen, principal of Addington Capital, said: "This deal follows on from our flurry of investment sales announced in February and is a further testament to the strength in demand for sub £10m properties. Breaking up portfolios acquired over the past two / three years remains further underpinned by the strong auctions market."

The Webhelp Group, a French based call centre specialist with turnover of €750m, acquired the Rotherham operation when it bought HEROtsc in 2013. The Indian-based HERO Group had bought TSC in 2007 for £40m.

When HEROtsc took over the former T-Mobile site at Manvers in 2004, staff numbers had dwindled to less than 300. Today the thriving Dearne Valley centre has employees working for leading trade names such as Vodafone, E.ON and Office Depot – with an ongoing recruitment and training programme to bring new jobs to the area.

Webhelp has seen exponential growth, becoming a global market leader in its sector. The TSC subsidiary has seen turnover increase by approximately 32% and profits increase by 26% since the 2013 takeover.

Plans to recruit 170 people at its Rotherham site were announced at the end of 2016.

Webhelp website

Images: Allsop


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