British Land Co PLC
17 January 2008
PREF TO SELL A €300M PORTFOLIO TO HENDERSON'S HERALD FUND
PREF, the closed-end European out-of-town retail property fund part-owned and
advised by British Land, has exchanged contracts with HERALD, the Henderson
European Retail Property Fund, for the sale of five European retail parks, as
well as 50% of PREF's stake in the Spanish regional shopping centre, Nueva
Condomina in Murcia.
The retail parks, located in Italy, Belgium and Switzerland, are being acquired
for a consideration of €154 million, reflecting a combined net yield of 5.2%.
The stake within Nueva Condomina, which represents 41.25% of the whole (as
British Land directly owns 17.5%) is being sold for €143 million which reflects
a net initial yield of 4.5%.
Valentine Beresford, Director, BL European Fund Management LLP said: "This off
market sale by PREF to HERALD is a win-win for both sides insofar as we are able
to crystallise some healthy returns to our investors on properties acquired over
the last four years. It boosts our available buying firepower from a previous
€200 million to circa €500 million, ready for selective opportunistic purchases
that we feel will arise from prevailing economic conditions in the forthcoming
year. It also enables PREF to focus on its core countries while reducing the
Fund's exposure to a large, single asset. The transaction plays to HERALD's
return criteria and is in line with their strategy to expand in Europe."
British Land retains its 17.5% direct holding in the Nueva Condomina joint
venture while PREF (40% owned by British Land) and HERALD will each own 41.25%.
Henderson European Retail Property Fund Management will have a joint asset
management role with BL European Fund Management in running the Murcia Shopping
Centre and Retail Park.
HERALD Fund Manager, Paddy Bingham, commented: "This acquisition follows
HERALD's second closing in November last year and brings the value of the Fund
to over €1 billion putting it firmly on course to meet its target value of €1.5
billion. The portfolio fits the Fund's strategy as these are well-located
property investments with strong asset management potential."
Cushman Wakefield advised PREF and CB Richard Ellis acted for HERALD.
The retail parks total 70,527m2:
• Parco Commerciale Navile, Bologna, Italy - 13,240 m2
• Parc de L'Hydrion, Arlon, Belgium - 31,039 m2
• Hedera Retail Park, Roeselare, Belgium - 7,174 m2
• Grosses Terres Retail Park, Etoy, Switzerland - 6,746 m2
• Champs Fleuris Retail Park, Matran, Switzerland - 12,328 m2
Nueva Condomina, Murcia, South East Spain, is a 120,000 m2 scheme encompassing a
60,200 m2 two-storey enclosed shopping centre and a 44,400 m2 retail park. The
shopping centre includes a 15 screen multiplex and a 13,700 m2 Hypermarket with
enclosed parking for 6,500 cars. British Land and PREF jointly agreed to
acquire the scheme in March 2007.
DATE: Thursday, 17 January, 2008
Notes to Editors:
PREF (The Pillar Retail Europark Fund) is a seven year closed-end fund created
in 2004 investing in out-of-town retail parks in the Eurozone. PREF is advised
by BL European Fund Management LLP.
PREF's Iberian-based assets are: Portugal - Portimao Retail Park, Portimao;
Aveiro Retail Park, Aveiro; Sintra Retail Park, Lisbon, Lima Retail Park, Lima.
Spain - Nassica Retail & Leisure Park, Madrid and Nueva Condomina, Murcia.
Outside Iberia, PREF also holds interests in Italy and France.
For further information about PREF or British Land, visit www.Britishland.com.
The HERALD Fund (Henderson European Retail Property Fund) is a closed-ended
Luxembourg Fonds Commun de Placement (FCP) for institutional investors that was
launched in December 2005 by Henderson Global Investors. The Fund specialises
in retail warehouses, shopping centres and city centre retail investments, with
an investment focus on Eurozone countries, particularly Spain, Italy, France and
For further information about Henderson Property and Henderson Global Investors
PREF: Financial Dynamics Dido Laurimore, Tel: +44 20 7831 3113
British Land: Laura De Vere, Tel: +44 20 7467 2920/Mobile: + 44 (0)7739 292920
Henderson Global Investors: Richard Acworth, Tel: +44 20 7818 3010
This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange