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Shopping mall sold in PS50m deal.

A TEESSIDE shopping centre has been bought by investors in London and Luxembourg in a deal worth almost PS50m.

Middlesbrough's Hillstreet Shopping Centre has been sold to NewRiver Retail and Luxembourg's LVS II Lux eight months after the centre was put up for sale by Ignis Asset Management, on behalf of its Phoenix Assurance fund.

NewRiver and LVS II Lux have each taken a 50 per cent equity stake in the mall for PS49.4m at a net initial yield of 9.6 per cent.

In a stock exchange announcement, NewRiver Retail's chief executive David Lockhart said: "The Hillstreet centre is our largest acquisition to date and demonstrates NewRiver's ability to deploy the proceeds of the recent fund-raise effectively and efficiently.

"We are also delighted to have the support of our joint venture partner LVS, to help facilitate our expansion. The acquisition enhances our diverse retailer portfolio and provides significant opportunity to unlock additional value in the Centre underpinned by a robust cashflow." "The landmark acquisition is a testament to our ability to source and complete high-yielding, income-generating opportunities in order to drive long-term shareholder value. The retail sector is pivotal to the UK economy and provides significant opportunities for NewRiver to continue its strong growth."

The centre, which has 224,000 sq ft of retail accommodation and a car park with 753 spaces, has annual footfall of approximately 12.6 million with high occupancy, currently at 98%, and includes key tenants Sports Direct, Marks & Spencer and Argos.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 18, 2013
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