Tuesday 25 June 2019

British Land offloads 12 Sainsbury’s superstores in £429m deal

British Land is cutting retail assets to around 30% to 35% of its portfolio, down from around half currently.

Property giant British Land is selling off 12 Sainsbury’s superstores from its joint venture with the supermarket (PA)
Property giant British Land is selling off 12 Sainsbury’s superstores from its joint venture with the supermarket (PA)

By Holly Williams, Press Association Deputy City Editor

Property giant British Land is selling off 12 Sainsbury’s superstores from its joint venture with the supermarket under plans to slash its exposure to the troubled retail sector.

British Land is selling the stores to Realty Income Corporation for £429 million and said its share of the proceeds will be £193.5 million, representing a “modest premium” to the book value recorded in September last year.

It comes as part of wider plans to cut retail assets to around 30% to 35% of its portfolio, down from around half currently.

We have a clear view of the value of our assets and despite the clear challenges currently in the retail market, we remain opportunistic and proactive British Land

The group has already exchanged on or completed the sale of nearly £1 billion of retail assets since April last year and said it is focused on further sales of retail assets that are “not aligned to our strategy and continue to make good progress”.

It added: “We have a clear view of the value of our assets and despite the clear challenges currently in the retail market, we remain opportunistic and proactive.”

The latest deal to offload retail assets will reduce its superstores exposure to around 1.3% of its portfolio, with six standalone stores remaining.

British Land will see net proceeds of around £95 million from the sale, after repayment of debt and fees.

British Land wants to reduce retail assets and focus the business on three areas – campus-focused London offices, a smaller, refocused retail business and residential, largely in the build to rent sector.

Its recent retail sales include the sale of Debenhams in Clapham and the Spirit pubs portfolio.

British Land’s rental income took a hit last year on account of a string of failures in the retail industry.

Its retail portfolio also includes Sheffield’s Meadowhall shopping centre as well as several major London developments.

The retail sector has been hit by a number of high-profile administrations recently, with embattled department store Debenhams placed into a pre-pack administration earlier this month.

Press Association

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