Land Securities to pay £95m for Manchester Printworks complex

Kasmira Jefford
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LAND SECURITIES is to acquire Manchester’s largest leisure complex the Printworks in a £95m deal.

The FTSE-listed firm is today expected to announce it has struck a deal with owner Resolution Property, to buy the site, which includes an Imax cinema, a Virgin Active fitness club and night clubs Tiger Tiger and Entourage.

Land Securities has been increasing its focus on the leisure sector and last year bought a 12 per cent stake in Capital & Regional’s X-Leisure fund, which owns indoor ski slopes in Milton Keynes, Leeds, Castleford and Glasgow.

A source close to the company said the deal reflected a “healthy yield” and said the successful scheme would be valuable addition to Land Securities’ property portfolio.

Printworks was originally erected as Withy Grove Printing House in 1873. It ran successfully as a newspaper printer for over 100 years producing publications such as the Manchester Evening Chronicle and the Daily Mirror until it was closed in 1985.

The site stood derelict until 2000 when it reopened as a leisure venue after a £150m redevelopment by the Richardson family.

The 365,000 square feet centre was acquired for £100m in 2008 by Resolution Property, an investment firm backed by US Ivy League universities as well as pension funds and private equity investors, from its previous joint-owners British Airways Pension Trustees and a Pearl Group-managed fund.