Henderson Global Investors has emerged as the buyer of a portfolio of designer factory outlets including the 1.85m sq ft Cheshire Oaks near Ellesmere Port for around £380m.
If completed, the deal would be the biggest property transaction of the year so far. Last week, Henderson was revealed as a bidder along with Chester Properties/Apollo, an undisclosed Spanish outlet operator, and Moorfield.
Henderson is now carrying out due diligence on the purchase of three designer outlets, including the Bridgend Designer Outlet in Wales and the Swindon Designer Outlet in Wiltshire. Henderson will use the assets to form the foundation for a new retail property fund.
CB Richard Ellis is handling the sale for the fixed-life partnership that owns the outlet centres, comprising Morley Fund Management, BAA, Ropemaker Properties, AXA and Liquid Realty. The partnership is due to expire at the end of this year.