Manager That Foresaw Retail Slump Buys Shopping Centre

Catella Apam teams up with Sunley Developments

This article originally appeared on the React News website:

Three years after warning that more than 200 shopping centres were at risk of financial distress, Catella Apam is buying a shopping centre, React News can reveal.

Using its own funds to finance the deal, Catella Apam is thought to have teamed up with Sunley Developments to agree a deal to buy the Maltings centre in Salisbury for £15.Sm. It is buying the property from Nuveen, acting on behalf of the Janus Henderson UI< Property PAIF.

The Maltings last changed hands in 2014 when Landsec sold it for just under £25m. Since then, the centre’s fortunes have taken a turn for the worse as a result of the weak retail market and its proximity to the site of the Novichok poisoning in 2018. Ex­ Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a park bench outside the shopping centre. The incident had a negative impact on footfall.

The price agreed for the property is understood to reflect a yield of around 10%. The centre is anchored by a Sainsbury’s, which has just agreed a new 10-year lease.

However, the property has long been earmarked for redevelopment. Apam and Sunley are expected to draw up plans for a residential-led scheme.

The Maltings benefits from views over the river and from being sandwiched between the city’s market square and a public car park.

Apam’s purchase comes as shopping centre values show signs of stabilising in the wake of the pandemic. Growing numbers of investors are seeking out bargains in the shopping centre market, with redevelopment in mind.

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