Warner Estate forms new shopping center fund and confirms £151.47m (€224.1m) acquisition (UK)

Warner Estate Holdings PLC ("Warner Estate"), the property investment company, has today announced that, on behalf of the Agora Max Shopping Centre Fund ("Agora Max"), it has acquired the Pallasades Shopping Centre, Birmingham from The Mall Limited Partnership for £151.47 mln (€224.1 mln). The purchase price reflects a net initial yield of 5.36% rising to 6% on reversion in September 2006.

The 289,725 sq ft (26,915 m²) Pallasades Shopping Centre occupies a prime location above Birmingham's New Street Station and forms part of Network Rail and Birmingham City Council's plans for the redevelopment of the station and its immediate surroundings. Prior to the acquisition, Warner Estate has already been in detailed discussions with both Network Rail and the City Council about the redevelopment scheme. Developers, Bride Hall, will work closely with Warner Estate on the proposed development programme.

The Pallasades is anchored by a number of major national retailers including Argos, Boots, HMV and Woolworths and served by a 1000 space multi-storey car park. A £2.5 mln (€3.7 mln) link was completed in November 2004, connecting the Pallasades with the recently redeveloped Bullring shopping centre. Ladywood House, which comprises 95,500 sq ft (8,872 m²) of office accommodation above the centre, is also included in the purchase.

The Pallasades is the first acquisition made by Agora Max, a new property fund created by Warner Estate and joint venture partner Bank of Scotland. Agora Max has been created with the aim of producing consistent high investment returns from the ownership and active management of a portfolio of sub regional shopping centres across the UK.

Warner Estate and Bank of Scotland have already worked together closely on the Agora Shopping Centre Fund, which owns and manages seven shopping centres in the North West of England.

Commenting on the purchase, Michael Stevens, Operations Director at Warner Estate said,
" We are delighted to announce the formation of the Agora Max Shopping Centre Fund. The new fund marks a significant milestone in the ongoing growth of Warner Estate.
" Sitting alongside the Agora Shopping Centre Fund, which has established a successful track record of adding value to shopping centres in the North West, Agora Max enables Warner Estate to invest in sub regional shopping centres across the UK. We are confident that the consistently high returns achieved by Agora can be replicated in Agora Max. Our objective is to build up the fund through active management and well chosen acquisitions.
" The Pallasades is an excellent first acquisition for Agora Max. Birmingham City Centre has benefited from large scale redevelopment over the last five years. We believe that, given the first class location, the Pallasades offers excellent potential and we look forward to working closely with Network Rail and Birmingham City Council. "

Source: Warner Estate Holdings

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