AXA Real Estate Investment Managers (AXA Real Estate), announces that, on behalf of its clients, it has agreed the acquisition of a 50% stake in Cabot Circus, Quakers Friars area and surrounding retail ownerships, in Bristol city center for £267.8 million (€335.5 million), from Land Securities which owns the asset with Hammerson through a 50:50 joint venture.
Cabot Circus is a 127,277 m² shopping center comprising retail, catering, leisure, car parking, residential, hotel, and student accommodation. It is the prime retail core of Bristol city center and one of the UK’s top twenty shopping centers. Cabot Circus, which opened in September 2008, was one of the largest retail-led city center urban regeneration projects in the UK. The shopping center has a residential catchment population of 2.4 million and recorded an annual footfall of 18.2 million visitors in 2013. The center is anchored by UK and international renowned retail tenants.
Hammerson is retaining its 50% stake in Cabot Circus and will take over the management of the center encompassing property and asset management, leasing and marketing. AXA Real Estate will have a strategic asset management role on behalf of its clients. Martin Perrott, Senior Transaction Manager at AXA Real Estate, said: “Together with Hammerson, we believe that we will be able to enhance the center through the introduction of more catering in order to adapt to changing consumer habits and multi-channel retailing, enabling us to continue to add value for our clients.”
Julian Best, Head of UK Asset Management at AXA Real Estate, commented: “This acquisition clearly demonstrates our continuing ability to transact high quality assets outside of London and the South East on behalf of our clients. We look forward to working with Hammerson to realize the full potential of this already dominant shopping center.”
Peter Cole, Hammerson Chief Investment Officer, said: “Cabot Circus is a high-quality retail destination which, since we completed the development in 2008, has secured iconic domestic and international brands and transformed Bristol’s retail offer. The center has the potential to further strengthen its position by capitalizing on structural retail trends and adapting the tenant mix. We are therefore excited about taking on the asset management role and delighted to be partnering with AXA Real Estate.”
Source: AXA Real Estate