Meyer Bergman acquires The Exchange Shopping Centre in Ilford for £71 million (UK)

Meyer Bergman, the investment platform founded by Markus Meijer has acquired The Exchange Shopping Centre, Ilford, from the Mall Fund for around £71 million (€85 mln.), representing a net initial yield in excess of 8.2%. This transaction is in line with Meyer Bergman's strategy of acquiring well located assets with significant upside potential through active asset management and follows its £130 million acquisition of 50% of The Bentall Centre, Kingston, in March 2010.


The center attracts 11 million visitors per year.

Attracting over 11 million visitors per year, the Exchange Shopping Centre is an important retail destination forming a major part of Ilford's high street. Located immediately opposite the main train station, it benefits from strong commuter traffic and serves a local catchment area of over 240,000 inhabitants from a broad demographical spectrum. With a gross lettable area of circa 25,000 m² (270,000 ft²) it comprises over 80 retail units, and major tenants include TKMaxx, New Look, Debenhams and WHSmith. The center also benefits from a 1,200-space car park.

Meyer Bergman has already identified a number of possible asset management initiatives for the centre, which will support its long-term aim of driving value from the asset principally by reconfiguring the tenant mix to appeal to the local population, thereby increasing its dominance within its catchment area.

Markus Meijer, Chief Executive of Meyer Bergman, commented: "The acquisition of The Exchange Centre supports our strategy of acquiring well located assets where we see potential for strong growth through active asset management. It also reflects our belief that there are still pockets of value to be found in the UK market, despite the recent increase in valuations. We hope to steadily improve and rejuvenate the center in order to help widen its appeal, driving footfall and rental income growth.

"This deal is our second acquisition of a Greater London shopping center this year and we continue to look for further opportunities in the UK and Continental Europe, and hope to announce further transactions shortly."

Meyer Bergman secured finance for the acquisition from Santander.

Source: FD

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