Carlyle buys Mall Chester as C&R eases gearing

Capital & Regional's 232,000 sq ft Mall in Chester is among three shopping centres the embattled investor has agreed to sell to Carlyle for £286m.

The sale of Malls in Chester, Epsom and Edgware to the private equity group reflects a yield of 6%.

The properties were valued at £339.8m at the end of March 2008. C&R will use the cash raised from the sale to reduce the gearing of the Mall fund.

C&R also won the support of shareholders this week to back a £286m share offer to shore up the balance sheet.

Hugh Scott-Barrett, chief executive of C&R, said: "This transaction, together with the capital raising, puts the Mall Fund on a more secure financial footing and will allow us to focus on maximising fund performance through the active management of the asset portfolio."

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