Royal London buys in Chester

Michael Hunt

Scottish Widows Unit Funds has disposed of its prime freehold interest in properties in Chester city centre to Royal London Mutual Insurance Society.

Scottish Widows Investment Partnership, which acted on behalf of Scottish Widows Unit Funds in the deal, said the disposal of 37 and 41 Eastgate Street generated significant interest with the eventual price achieved being £12.35m, which reflected a net initial yield of 4.67%.

James McLean, investment manager with the real estate team at SWIP, said: "The sale of these prime retail shops was a strategic move where we took the decision to lock in the strong performance generated from the asset, following completion of a key active management initiative. This sale was well received by the market and has created additional monies for the fund to re-invest. We will continue to actively identify opportunities with a key focus on the central London office sector which we believe is well positioned to benefit from strong rental growth prospects going forward."

Retailer Next Group leases 37 Eastgate Street which is due to expire in December 2020 and 41 Eastgate Street is let to Russell & Bromley on a lease to expire 6 December 2014.

Jackson Criss represented SWIP and Savills Royal London.

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