Monday 25 November 2019 1:05 pm

Intu sells retail park to New River REIT for £40m

Retail landlord Intu has sold a Northern Ireland retail park to property investment trust New River REIT for £40m. 

The sale of Sprucefield Retail Park in Lisburn brings Intu’s year-to-date disposals total to £268m, as the shopping centre operator aims to fix its balance sheet. 

Read more: New River REIT swings to a loss on weak investor sentiment

New River said the retail park, which has five units is anchored by Sainsbury’s and B&Q, will generate an extra £3.7m of annual net property income. 

Talks are already underway with prospective tenants to let out a vacant unit at the retail park and the real estate investment trust said it will extract value by selling land for development. 

Intu chief executive Matthew Roberts said: “We announced our new strategy at the interim results in July. A key element of this is fixing the balance sheet which includes creating liquidity through disposals.” 

New River chief executive Allan Lockhart added: “In addition to an attractive long-term income return, the development land offers the opportunity to deliver significant capital growth, leading to a very attractive total return.

“Our successful disposal programme in this financial year places us in a position to take advantage of current market dislocations and make highly accretive acquisitions such as Sprucefield Retail Park and the recently-acquired Poole Retail Park.”

Read more: Intu braced for income drop as retail CVAs take a toll

New River reported last week that it swung to a £21.3m loss in the first half of the year, from a profit of £2.7m, as its portfolio valuation sank due to weak investor sentiment in the retail sector. 

Earlier this month Intu, which owns Manchester’s Trafford Centre, said it is expecting to report a sharp drop in rental income for 2019 after a higher-than-anticipated volume of insolvencies from its occupants. 

Main image credit: New River