DevSec Patron make £20m profit from arena sale

Development Securities and joint venture partner Patron Capital have confirmed the sale of the Phones 4u Arena in Manchester to a Mansford Real Estate LLP Fund for £82.1m.

The arena was acquired in 2010 for £62.2m. Development Securities owned the minority share of the 70:30 joint venture partnership and was retained to asset manage the property.

Development Securities undertook a number of asset enhancement initiatives to drive rental income and capital value. These included a re-gear of the operator lease with SMG Europe, increasing advertising income, refurbishing the vacant office space within the complex and most recently, successfully retendering the naming rights deal for the arena. The arena was known as the Manchester Arena for a fallow period following the end of the Manchester Evening News sponsorship.

Operated by SMG Europe, the Phones 4u Arena is the second most popular indoor arena in the world after the 02 Arena. In addition to the 21,000 seat arena, the complex includes 128,000 sq ft of office space and a multi-storey car park.

Michael Marx, chief executive of Development Securities, said: "The Phones 4u Arena has been a strong performer for us and our asset management and enhancement strategies have added significant value. We are pleased to have secured the sale of the Arena, three years since acquisition and in line with our business plan. The cash returned through this disposal further strengthens the company balance sheet and follows the recent concluding deal at PaddingtonCentral which realised £12.1m of cash and the sale of our Broughton residential land holding earlier in the year which also released £11.4m of cash."

Manchester-based investment agents Whitaker Horton advised Development Securities on the sale.

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