Warrington adds £200m Birchwood Park to portfolio

Warrington Council has confirmed its acquisition of the 120-acre Birchwood Park from Oaktree Capital Management and Patrizia, for a purchase price understood to be around £205m.

The acquisition is one of the largest in the local authority investment market, and comes as council chiefs battle austerity cuts with bets on rental income.

Birchwood Park is among the best performing business parks in the North of England with 165 tenants in more than 1.25m sq ft, generating about £10m in rent a year and employing 6,000 staff.

There are 50 buildings on the park spread across 120 acres, 35 acres of which remain for future development. Amenities include a nursery, gym and conference centre.

The joint venture between Oaktree, headquartered in Los Angeles, and Patrizia, the German investment fund, acquired the site from Hermes and MEPC as part of a portfolio of three business parks, for £430m in 2014 at a yield of 7.3%.

Patrizia, also asset manager at Birchwood Park, will continue in its role. CBRE is continuing as managing agent and there will be no changes to the on site team.

Warrington Council said: “The acquisition represents a significant investment and development opportunity within a growing regional market.

“The Council will seek to maximise on opportunities throughout the business park through continued investment and asset management initiatives.”

JLL is marketing five Oaktree and Patrizia business parks for sale across the UK. BE Group and JLL are the retained letting agents for Birchwood Park. The council was represented by Knight Frank in the purchase.

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