British Land has withdrawn the marketing of partial holdings in its Meadowhall Shopping Centre which commenced in May. Despite a range of investor interest, the uncertainty in financial markets has made the prospect of realising an appropriate value unlikely at the present time.
This decision is underpinned by positive trading at Meadowhall, the number of development and asset management opportunities underway and the successful openings of Primark and a range of refitted stores after Sheffield's floods. Footfall at Meadowhall last month was well up on 2006 and for the year to date is outperforming national retail footfall data.
Notable too is the value of Meadowhall's financing structure - with interest cost fixed at 4.98%, and average maturity of 16.5 years, the £838 million of securitised financing enhances Meadowhall's prospective returns to British Land.
Stephen Hester, British Land Chief Executive commented; "While we would have liked to find investment partners for Meadowhall, the Centre's prospects together with the success of our extensive disposal programme elsewhere, make the decision to hold a relatively painless one. Since March 2005 we have profitably sold £5.8 billion of property taking our gearing down to 41% (LTV) as at June this year its lowest level since 1995. Our customer focus continues to produce good rental growth across British Land's portfolio. This complements our defensive strength deriving from prime properties, very high occupancy rates and the greatest income protection in our sector."
Source: British Land