Lend Lease is expected to transfer the majority of its UK shopping centre holdings into a new offshore unit trust in an attempt to avoid paying stamp duty on partnerships.
As of next month, stamp duty will become payable on the trading of properties by partnerships.
The Australian developer has invited its co-investors in the Lend Lease Retail Partnership and the Overgate Limited Partnership to join the new £850m property trust, based in Jersey. The other investors are understood to be in favour of an offshore move.
The new structure would be more flexible than a limited partnership and is therefore expected to attract additional investors.
Lend Lease Retail Partnership is worth £700m and owns a third of Bluewater, the UK’s largest retail development. It also owns the Touchwood centre in Solihull.
The other two-thirds of Bluewater are directly owned by Lend Lease, Prudential and Hermes.
The Lend Lease Overgate Partnership is worth £150m and owns the whole of the Overgate shopping centre in Dundee.
Source: Freeman / Estates Gazette