U and I Group, the specialist regeneration developer and investor, has sold three retail assets for a combined £22.4m.
It has sold Crown Glass Shopping Centre in Nailsea for £11.15m; two units at The Killingworth Centre in Newcastle for £7.5m; and 89-107 Queen Street in Cardiff for £3.75m.
The combined assets were sold marginally below their aggregate book value as at 30 September 2019.
The company said the assets were non-core retail assets, outside its focus geographies (London City Region, Manchester and Dublin).
The sales leave the company with £25m in cash within its facility with Aviva as available to reinvest. It said when conditions start to normalise it would consider new opportunistic acquisitions.
“It shows some resilience to have managed to complete these disposals at so close to aggregate half year book value in this challenging environment, where decision-making has almost ground to a halt and valuations are increasingly pressured,” said Matthew Weiner, chief executive of U and I. “For now our priority is to preserve cash but, once conditions start to approach normality, we will review opportunities to acquire regeneration focussed assets, whilst increasingly moving some components of our own development assets into our investment portfolio to drive long-term value.”
[The sales price that U and I achieved on these regional retail assets is good news for the property sector. Being struck at prices close to book value in September 2019 when the country is going through a pandemic and retail properties are being hardest hit – due to the enforced closure of all non-essential retail – is impressive. It also sets a benchmark for valuers to use as evidence when valuing retail properties for quarterly valuation reports. Property investment deals were expected to dry up during the unprecedented covid-19 pandemic, but there have been a few deals to have completed in the last week or so, as well as some properties coming on to the market. QuotedData will continue to monitor the impact of covid-19 on property and update you as things change.]
UAI : U and I Group sells trio of retail assets in positive sign for property