LGP acquires Fremlin Walk shopping center from Europa Captital and Scoop LLP (UK)

Legal & General Property ('LGP'), has announced that, on behalf of its UK Property Income Fund (the 'Fund'), it has acquired Fremlin Walk Shopping Center, Maidstone, from a joint venture between Europa Fund III, the pan-European fund managed by Europa Capital, and SCOOP AM LLP. The property was acquired for ca. £92 million (approx. €110 million).

FW 1-042-Views of Fremlin Walk

The site comprises 48 retail units in total let to a range of blue chip tenants.

Situated in the center of Maidstone, Kent, the modern, fashion-orientated, open-air shopping center comprises 350,000 ft² (approx. 32,500 m²) of prime retail space and a 760-space car park. Anchored by a 100,000-ft² House of Fraser department store, the site comprises 48 retail units in total, let to a range of blue chip tenants, including H&M, Next, Zara and Boots. The average unexpired lease term is 11.3 years with 97% of the income secured against national multiple retailers.

As a major commercial center in the South East, Maidstone benefits from excellent transport links, including close proximity to the M20 and M25, as well as an affluent and broad-based catchment area. Healthy footfall figures have been recorded for the shopping center, with numbers steadily improving year-on-year since 2006, despite a recent national decline due to economic conditions. Over the past 18 months a number of new lettings have been agreed, including Laura Ashley, Pandora, Office Shoes and Prêt a Manger.

Rob Sim, Partner of Europa Capital, said: "We have been very pleased with the success of investment in Fremlin Walk with our partners, SCOOP AM, as it has provided the Fund with a strong income cashflow over the past 18 months. The offer from Legal & General Property persuaded us to make an early sale although there are still value enhancement opportunities in the property as we see further improvements in retailer demand."

Charlie Walker, Senior Fund Manager for the UK Property Income Fund, comments: "Fremlin Walk shopping center represents a good opportunity to acquire a core, multi-let, mid-sized shopping center at an attractive yield. Purchased off-market, the deal is in line with the Fund's strategy of identifying well-located assets with a strong tenant base but still offering the potential for active management."

CBRE advised Legal & General Property whilst Europa Capital and SCOOP AM were advised by DTZ.

Source: FD

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