British Land prepares for sale of Meadowhall mall
Property giant British Land is preparing to sell Meadowhall in Sheffield, one of the country’s major shopping centres, for around £750 million.
The sale of Meadowhall, 50/50 owned by British Land and Norwegian sovereign wealth fund Norges, would become one of the largest shopping centre deals of the past decade, reported The Times.
The report said property agents from CBRE have been appointed to handle the sale process, which will begin in the coming weeks. British Land has so far declined to comment.
Opened in 1990 by Yorkshire-based property developers, it was sold to British Land for £1.2 billion in 1999.
Following tough times in both the run up to the pandemic and in the post-Covid period, malls have been enjoying something of a renaissance lately with strong store openings and expansions appearing alongside the introduction of consumer experiences to tempt customers back into physical retail.
Meadowhall, which counts Marks & Spencer and Primark as anchor tenants, is now 98% occupied.
However, a buyer would have to take on £450 million of debt secured against the centre. The cost of servicing the debt has meant Meadowhall’s owners have received no income from the centre for three years, the report claimed. Yet the centre’s income is understood to be close to surpassing the debt costs.
The move to sell Meadowhall will not come as a surprise as British Land has said one of the key priorities is in the retail parks segment. The sale would allow it to increase its UK portfolio.
“We see a value opportunity in retail parks, reflecting increased yields and a more stable occupational outlook. We have been further encouraged by how strongly footfall and sales have rebounded in recent weeks”, CEO Simon Carter has said.
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