Tuesday, March 26, 2019

London‘s first department store sold to Brunei family for £100m


Standard Life Investments UK Shopping Centre Trust has sold Whiteleys Shopping Centre to a private family office from Brunei in an off market deal worth more than £100m.

The trust say the move reflects its objective to capitalise on strategic opportunities and to release capital for re-investment in the remaining portfolio and in high quality targeted assets with the potential to deliver strong returns over the long term. The private family office from Brunei, who were not named, say the Whiteleys deal is an important transaction as part of a wider investment strategy into Queensway.

Commenting on the deal, Ed Jenkins, Head of UK Retail, Standard Life Investments, said: “We‘re very pleased to have completed the sale. We will use the proceeds to invest in the remainder of the existing portfolio and in assets of equivalent or better quality that will be accretive to the performance of the Trust.”

Whiteleys started life as an independent and family run department store trading between 1912 and 1981 but stood empty for many years before its reconstruction into a multi level shopping centre with ancillary mixed uses, which opened its doors to the public in 1989.

Whiteleys is part new build and part retained, with the retained elements being of architectural significance and resulting in a Grade II listing. The redevelopment was funded by Standard Life Assurance Company, as it was then, and the centre was transferred into the Standard Life Investments UK Shopping Centre Trust in 2005.