Henderson Global Investors acquires Ashford Retail Park (UK)

Henderson Global Investors, on behalf of its ca. £1.1 billion UK Retail Warehouse Fund, has acquired Phase 1 of Ashford Retail Park in Kent, for £14.25 million (approx. €16 million), representing an equivalent yield of 5.4%. The 55,021-ft² (5,100-m²) site was purchased from The Local Authorities' Mutual Investment Trust (LAMIT).

Consideration for the purchase was a blend of approximately £10 million of cash together with the issue of new units in the Fund to LAMIT worth approximately £4.25 million on current pricing.

Phase 2 of Ashford Retail park is owned by West Midlands County Council Pension Fund which together with phase 1 provides for a comprehensive retail offer with tenants including, Homebase, Argos, Boots and TK Maxx.

Michael Neal, Fund Manager for the Henderson UK Retail Warehouse Fund, commented: "This transaction was firmly in line with our investment strategy of recycling capital into assets that provide upside potential from the delivery of asset management strategies.

"Ashford Retail Park is a prime asset and the best of its kind in the surrounding vicinity. As such, we believe it is ideally located to capitalize on the planned growth for the area: Ashford has been designated by the Government as a key growth area with target plans for 31,000 new homes and 28,000 new jobs by 2031."

As a house, Henderson remains committed to the retail warehouse segment of the market, for which it forecasts strong returns as more and more retailers see the benefits of trading from prime shopping parks.

2011 has seen an excellent start for the Retail Warehouse Fund, having delivered total estimated returns of 4.1% for the first quarter following a return of 23.6% delivered to unitholders in 2010.

CCLA Investment Management Limited is the fund manager for LAMIT. Wilkinson Williams and Camplin Bianco advised CCLA in the sale. Morgan Williams acted for Henderson.

Source: Henderson Global Investors

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