The following article, written by Richard Williams, appeared in Property Week on 25th September 2015:
Rockspring Acquires Northern Ireland Mall
Rockspring Property Investment Managers has acquired Fairhill Shopping Centre in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, for £44.6m, reflecting a yield of 8.6%.
Bought on behalf of its UK Value 2 LP fund, the shopping centre is the fourteenth acquisition of the fund and brings the total aggregate value of assets to over £390m.
Fairhill Shopping Centre is located to the north of Ballymena town centre and offers 295,000 sq ft of retail space, comprising 49 retail units, a food court and parking for 900 cars. Currently more than 95% let, Fairhill Shopping Centre is home to a range of national retailers including M&S, Debenhams, Next, New Look, Top Shop, H&M, and River Island and is the prime retail offering for Ballymena and the surrounding area.
Cordatus Real Estate will act as joint venture partners in the asset management of the scheme.
Richard Bains, Rockspring partner and fund manager of the UK Value seris, said:”Fairhill Shopping Centre is a prime shopping centre with a strong national retailer base. As with the other shopping centre acquisitions we have made in Taunton, Aylesbury and Leeds, this transaction is in line with the fund’s strategy to source properties that will benefit from expert asset management and will, ultimately, provide long term income streams for our investors. This is Rockspring’s first acquisition in Northern Ireland, and we are excited to be working with Cordatus who have extensive experience working in this jurisdiction.”
Mike Channing, Director at Cordatus Real Estate said: “Fairhill offers a great opportunity of added value asset management and we look forward to working closely with Rockspring to realise the full potential of the centre.”
The UK-only closed-ended UK Value 2 fund held its final close earlier this year, which, at eight months, was the fastest fundraise Rockspring has achieved in its 30 year history. It secured a total of £342m of equity from 11 investors for the fund, which will have a duration of seven years.
Cordatus Real Estate and DTZ MCCombe Pierce acted for Rockspring on the transaction. CBRE acted for the vendor.