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TIAA Henderson Real Estate and Land Securities exchange contracts on prime shopping centre property swap


TIAA Henderson Real Estate (TH Real Estate), on behalf of its UK Shopping Centre Fund, and Land Securities Group PLC (Land Securities), have exchanged contracts to sell their respective interests in Buchanan Galleries, Glasgow, and Princesshay Shopping Centre in Exeter, to each other.

TH Real Estate’s purchase of Land Securities 50% stake in Princesshay Shopping Centre sees the business enter into a new strategic partnership with The Crown Estate, which already owns 50% of the asset. The Crown Estate will take responsibility for the asset management of Princesshay on behalf of the partnership.

Princesshay, in Exeter, was developed by Land Securities in 2007. The c.52,000 sq m scheme was designed to seamlessly integrate into the city centre. Its sensitive design, with a diverse range of architectural styles, respects not only existing street patterns, vistas and views, but also local heritage and the immediate proximity to Exeter Cathedral, while also strengthening pedestrian links within the city. Retailers include Hollister, Reiss, Zara & Crew Clothing, supported by restaurants including Byron, Carluccio’s, Strada and Wagamama.

The Crown Estate is one of the UK’s largest owners of prime regional retail property with a portfolio that includes 16 retail parks, and shopping centres in Exeter, Oxford and Worcester. The Crown Estate funds investment activity across its core (regional retail, London’s West End, strategic land and offshore wind) through capital trading and increasingly by forming strategic partnerships. The Crown Estate’s funds are managed in joint ventures, which now stand at £1.4bn.

Having specialised in retail property for over 30 years, TH Real Estate has a strong reputation for its retail expertise. It has been involved in some of the best-known and largest retail schemes across the UK and Europe. Many of these schemes have been ground breaking in terms of scale, design and innovation. Of its c.£15bn AUM* in property, c.£9.6bn, representing over 60%, sits within the retail sector. This includes over 170 retail assets across Austria, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden & the UK.  

Stephen Wicks, Director of Shopping Centres at TH Real Estate & Fund Manager of the UK Shopping Centre Fund, said “This transaction represents an innovative play for both companies, enabling each party to pursue its respective investment strategy. The swap out of Glasgow and into Exeter represents a desire to rebalance the Fund’s portfolio; it better aligns the regional balance of the Fund in addition to the development activity across the Fund portfolio. It also allows us to channel our development commitment to Edinburgh St James; the c.158,000 sq m city centre scheme is one of the biggest regeneration projects currently underway in the UK, and, once completed, will comprise c.93,000 sq m of prime retail space. We remain committed to Glasgow with exposure to the city across the TH Real Estate UK portfolio, for example, in July this year, we acquired a retail unit (let to TK Maxx) on Argyle Street, on behalf of another mandate. Meanwhile, Princesshay provides an exciting opportunity to add value through asset management initiatives and we are confident that we can unlock significant value for our investors. We are excited to enter into partnership with the Crown Estate and look forward to a collaborative working relationship together.” 

Paul Clark, Director of Investment and Asset Management at The Crown Estate added: “This partnership is yet another example of the trust investors have in our skills and expertise, both in the regional retail sector and in managing funds within joint ventures. We’re looking forward to working with TH Real Estate to explore opportunities to further enhance performance at Princesshay, developing the shopping experience for visitors and ensuring the Centre continues to deliver a range of benefits locally.” 

Note: All figures as at 30 June 2014.
Issued by Henderson Real Estate Asset Management Limited, 201 Bishopsgate, EC2M 3BN. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.TH Real Estate is a name under which Henderson Real Estate Asset Management Limited provides investment products and services. Past performance is not a guide to future returns. The value of investments and any income will fluctuate (this may be partly be the result of exchange rate fluctuation) and investors may not get back the full amount invested. Where opinions have been expressed, they are based on current market conditions and are subject to change without notice.


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