Capital & Regional has sold a landmark shopping centre The Mall in Blackburn to Adhan Group for €47m (£40m). Completion of the sale, which is subject to local authority freeholder consent, is expected to take place around the end of June 2022.
The Mall, Blackburn contributed approximately €4.3m (£3.7m) to the Group's Net Rental Income for the year ended 30 December 2021. The net cash proceeds of approximately €45.7m (£39m) will be used to repay debt secured on the property as part of The Mall loan facility. The sale will reduce the Group's Net Loan to Value (LTV) ratio by approximately 600 basis points. A combination of this disposal, the anticipated Walthamstow residential receipt and the discounted purchase of debt on Hemel Hempstead would reduce the Group's Net LTV ratio, on a proforma basis, from 49%, at December 2021, to approximately 41%.
Lawrence Hutchings, Chief Executive, commented: "The sale of The Mall, Blackburn at a premium to its December 2021 valuation provides further evidence of the stabilisation of asset values as well as renewed investor confidence in the sector and allows us to make another material reduction to Group leverage. Together with the debt restructure and equity raise late last year, the recent acquisition of the Hemel Hempstead debt at a significant discount and major leasing commitments and loan amendments in Ilford, which we announced last week, this transaction represents a further significant milestone in restructuring the financial and operational position of the Group. These ongoing improvements give Capital & Regional a solid platform from which to look to continue to execute our strategy for growth and support our plans for the resumption of dividend payments in the second half of the year. I would like to thank the Blackburn centre team for their hard work and dedication during their time as part of the Capital & Regional Group. We have been a large part of this vibrant, diverse and important community for over 20 years, and we wish the community, our retailers and the local council continued success as the centre embarks on its next phase under new local ownership."