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Intu sells Sprucefield Retail Park in £40m deal to NewRiver

Shopping centre owner Intu has announced the sale of its Sprucefield Retail Park to real estate investment trust NewRiver in a £40m deal.

The retail park is located in Lisburn, Northern Ireland and comprises of 231,000 sq ft of retail space in five units, and features stores such as Sainsbury’s and B&Q .

Matthew Roberts, chief executive of Intu, 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.

“We are pleased to conclude this transaction, which along with the part-disposal of Intu Derby and other sundry asset sales in 2019 brings the year to date disposals total to £268m.”

Allan Lockhart, chief executive of NewRiver, said: “We are pleased to announce that we have exchanged contracts to acquire Sprucefield Retail Park. This high-quality asset will generate £3.7m of annualised net property income, which will be highly accretive to Underlying Funds From Operations and significant in improving our dividend cover, which is our key priority.

“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.”

He added: “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.”

During the first six months of the year ending 30 June Intu’s rental income fell to £205.2m and its property revaluation deficit increased to £872.1m, compared with £650.4m during the same period last year.

As a result it launched a new “transformational strategy” designed with the priority of fixing Intu’s balance sheet and included improving customer service and experience, refurbishing its portfolio and moving away from a sole retail focus to include residential, hotel and flexible working spaces in its offering.

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