Wereldhave joins shopping centre spree

Wereldhave, the Dutch owner of the Towers business park in South Manchester, is eyeing shopping centres in the North West as it seeks to grow its UK portfolio by more than double.

The group owns £180m of assets in the UK and has set a target of €400m, or £350m, for the portfolio in this country. Wereldhave, listed in Amsterdam and Paris, recently set the same target for each of its regions. The company is focused on Europe and the US.

Jon Speakman-Brown, managing director of Wereldhave Property Management, the UK subsidiary, told Place assets of between £70m and £150m were being sought.

The retail investment market has been one of the more active sectors in recent months. More than £130m of shopping centres have been placed under offer in the past fortnight alone. These include The Mall in Preston, which Orchard Street Investment Management is believed to be in the process of securing. Prime Commercial Properties is reportedly in talks with an unnamed bidder to sell its Salford City shopping centre through Savills for £45m, reflecting a net initial yield of 8.5%.

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