Landsec shops for 50% of St David's in bid for 'quality'

UK REIT Landsec has fully taken over the St David's shopping centre in Cardiff, and secured an adjacent vacant unit formerly let to Debenhams.

The deal has involved Landsec acquiring the 50% stake in the mall it didn't own, previously held by intu, for an undisclosed sum.

However, the property giant revealed that the overall purchase price represents a meaningful discount to the £113 mln (€128 mln) September 2022 book value of Landsec's existing 50% share.

The firm said the deal also represented a net initial yield of 9.7% and an equivalent yield of 9.7%.

In a briefing note, the firm said that leasing momentum has been strong across its entire shopping centre portfolio as retailers continue their ongoing 'flight to prime'.

Like-for-like sales have been 3% ahead of pre-Covid levels for the eleven months to February, while leasing is also trending ahead of estimates.

The partnership with intu, which is currently in administration, has not affected the asset's day-to-day running, the company said. Some 36 leases have been signed or are in legals since last March. Recent brand relocations include Zara, Footasylum and Gaucho.

Landsec also bought an adjacent, vacant unit for what it calls a 'minimal sum'. The former Debenhams store will be the focus of new public space and food and beverage outlets, according to the firm.

Commented Bruce Findlay, managing director of retail at Landsec: 'Acquiring this final stake in St David’s is testament to our ability to unlock complex opportunities and enables us to take forward our placemaking plans for what is the dominant retail destination in Wales.

'With annual footfall of 27 million, it also has the necessary attributes of what we see as a shopping centre of the future.'

Landsec's briefing note said that deals like St David's have been funded by strategic sales.

These include the £350 mln disposal of One New Street Square, in the City of London, plus the sale of a leisure asset and a small non-core residential asset for a combined £49 mln.


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