M Core, the ‘family’ of real estate companies including LCP and Evolve Estates, made their most ambitious retail acquisitions to date.
The companies, two of four in the M Core collective, were involved in a pair of deals this week.
First, the near 1 million ft2 The Centre Livingston, west of Edinburgh in Scotland, which LCP and Evolve have bought from Hines for a price believed to be about £50 mln. With 166 shops, it is their largest retail acquisition yet, and they believe it has good potential to improve.
The second is LCP’s launch into Romania via the acquisition for €219 mln – the largest single-country transaction in 2023 in CEE – of Mitiska Reim’s entire portfolio of 25 retail parks there.
The 132,000 m2 of shopping is located across 24 cities from Arad in the west of Romania to Iasi in the east as well as capital Bucharest. M Core is already an investor in Poland, as well as in UK, France and Germany.
M Core said it had raised £1 bn to invest in UK and European real estate last March, and it still has £300 mln available to invest in retail sites.
Two West End office investment transactions, worth close to £300 mln combined, closed in London this week: 125, Shaftesbury Avenue and Haymarket House. Shaftesbury Avenue was closely watched by the market to see where values are landing for value-add product. The 180,000 ft building formerly occupied by WeWork sold for £150 mln with vacant possession to Dutch developer Edge in JV with London development specialist investor Mitsubishi Estate.
Family office Criterion Capital bought Haymarket House off Piccadilly and intends to convert part to a hotel.
Paris also saw its largest deal of the year, with luxury brands group LVMH picking up 150 Champs Elysees in a share deal valuing the building at about €1 bn. It was an off market transaction put together from start to finish in just three months.
A slew of refinancings are closing in the debt markets in the run up to the end of the year. Among them, Unibail priced a €750 mln green bond at 4.125% while UK private property company AshbyCapital made its first debt investment, a £20 mln mezzanine and capex facility for a Korean syndicate led by Hana Securities.
Ashby’s loan enabled a refinancing of a prime shopping park near Birmingham involving incumbent senior lenders, Aareal and pbb. Ashby’s Charles-Etienne Lawrence, said: ‘Amidst more challenging market conditions…a significant opportunity has presented itself in real estate debt…’ CBRE Debt & Structured Finance advised on the financing.
We also track three funds raising capital and two new assets on the market.