The LCP Group, the national commercial property and investment company, has kicked off 2022 with its biggest retail acquisition to date, signing a £138 million deal for two UK shopping centres.
Buying the Cwmbran Centre, Wales’ largest shopping centre, and the Galleries shopping centre in Washington, Sunderland, from M&G Real Estate, takes the group’s retail acquisitions over the past 12 months to a record £300 million.
James Buchanan, Managing Director of LCP, said: “Despite the challenges over the past few years in the retail sector – and the last 21 months of dealing with Covid-19 adding yet more difficulties – we remain confident there is a positive future for the UK retail sector and that it continues to be buoyant.
“We had an exceptionally busy 2021, with 35 acquisitions in the local convenience and retail sector, but we could not let up the opportunity to acquire the Cwmbran Centre and the Galleries, which are well-performing centres that serve populations 412,000 and 822,000 respectively.
“The past 12 months has demonstrated that we are serious about investing in and adding to our retail portfolio. We are excited about the prospects for 2022 and continue to actively seeking opportunities across the country, with £300 million available to invest for assets ranging from £1 million to £100 million.”
Cwmbran Centre has 180 retail units over 740,000 sq ft, including a 48,000 sq ft Primark, and is anchored by a 100,000 sq ft Asda. Other leading brands include JD Sports, River Island, Superdrug, New Look and Deichmann and there are 3,000 free car parking spaces and a dedicated bus station.
The sale also includes four office blocks: Gwent House, Powys House, Glyndwr House and Pendragon House.
The Galleries acquisition comprises the Galleries Shopping Centre, which has more than 200 units over 535,000 sq ft, anchored by Asda (116,000 sq ft) and Sainsbury’s (158,000 sq ft), and the adjacent 158,000 sq ft Galleries Retail Park, which has 16 retail units, including Aldi, Matalan and River Island.
The shopping centre has 2,500 free car parking spaces and a dedicated bus station, while the retail park has 600 car parking spaces.
JLL acted for LCP, and Osborne Clarke acted as legal advisory.