Henderson Global Investors acquires Winchester's Silver Hill development (UK)

Henderson Global Investors, on behalf of the Henderson UK Property Fund, has made a corporate acquisition of two Thornfield entities from Deloitte (Thornfield Administrators) for an undisclosed amount.

Model(1) - Aug06

The latest design for the scheme will provide a gross external area of c. 630,000 ft² .

The acquisition consists of Thornfield Properties (Winchester) Limited (TPW) and Thornfield Properties (Winchester) No. 2 Limited. The companies were wholly owned subsidiaries of Thornfield Properties Plc, itself a wholly owned subsidiary of Thornfield Ventures Limited.

The 600,000-ft² (approx. 55,740-m²) Silver Hill scheme has been on hold after Thornfield, owner of the site, entered Administration earlier this year. The scheme covers approximately one quarter of Winchester and is the largest single development in the area since the Brooks Centre in the 1980s. The latest design for the scheme will provide a gross external area of c. 630,000 ft² with an approximate breakdown as follows:

· 95,000 ft² retail (NIA) (of which food store c. 25,000)
· 18,500 ft² office (NIA) with 20 car parking spaces
· 11,000 ft² medical center (NIA)
· 207 private residential units
· 100 affordable residential units – 35% of which are social rented
· c. 168 residential car parking spaces
· c. 330 public car parking spaces

The project is aiming for a practical completion date in 2015.

Cameron Fraser, fund manager of the Henderson UK Property Fund, said: "The development of this substantial area of Winchester is an exciting addition to our portfolio which fits well within our fund strategy for value add opportunities. The acquisition provides the fund with exposure to a distressed retail development opportunity in a prime South East location at a heavily discounted value".

"Winchester is considered heavily under developed relative to its location and its dominant position in the South East retail hierarchy. The attractiveness of the City together with its excellent transport facilities is reflected in it being voted for several years running, the most desirable city to live in England. We are confident that we will be able to attract new high quality tenants to the scheme upon completion and are optimistic that we can maximise returns for our investors. We are also delighted to be working alongside Winchester City Council"

Cllr Kelsie Learney, Leader of Winchester City Council, said: "We are delighted to have secured such a high quality partner for the development of the Silver Hill scheme and look forward to working alongside a company that shares our ambition and optimism for the scheme."

With the Henderson UK Property Fund (HUKPF) continuing to outperform its benchmark, it is constantly looking for new opportunities. In Q3 HUKPF enjoyed a total return of 3.4%, taking the year-to-date (ytd) total return to 12.8%. This compares to the benchmark total return of 1.9% for Q3 and 9.9% ytd. The fund has outperformed its benchmark over a 1-year (25.7% versus 18.4%), 3-year (-6.5% versus -7.3%), and 5-year period (1.4% versus 0.8%).

Source: Henderson Global Investors

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