The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society acquires Hermes’ 7.5% holding in Bluewater

By Badudoy (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Hermes Investment Management, the £30.1 billion manager, has exchanged contracts on the sale of its 7.5% stake in Bluewater shopping centre to The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited (Royal London), the UK’s largest mutual life, pensions and investment company.

Located in Dartford, Kent, Bluewater is valued at in excess of £2 billion and is one of Europe’s largest shopping centres. Totalling 1.7 million sq ft, it attracts approximately 27 million visitors per year and houses 330 retail outlets, including 40 cafes and restaurants and a 13-screen cinema.

Along with the acquired stake, Royal London gains a seat on the Board of the shopping centre, alongside other stakeholders, including Aberdeen Asset Management and LandSec.

HP Four advised Hermes Investment Management on the sale. Coady Supple acted for Royal London.

Michael Lawrence, Head of Retail at Royal London Asset Management, said:

“This acquisition of Hermes Investment Management’s 7.5% stake in Bluewater shopping centre represents a strong new addition to our portfolio, as we continue to target high quality assets in the retail space. As one of the biggest shopping centres in the UK and Europe, this new holding provides us with a good opportunity to invest in one of the region’s most popular shopping destinations.”

Chris Taylor, Head of Private Markets at Hermes Investment Management, commented:

“As we continue to diversify our global portfolio, this sale of our 7.5% stake in Bluewater shopping centre is a good result for the fund. It leaves us well placed to focus on our strategy of re-deploying capital into the market, as well as identifying new acquisitions where we believe additional value can be added through asset management.”