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Columbus completes acquisition of Liverpool's Met Quarter

By Paul Norman - Wednesday, January 23, 2013 12:51

Columbus UK Real Estate Fund, advised by Columbus Capital Management LLP, has completed the acquisition of the Met Quarter in Liverpool for £21m – a net initial yield of 8.4%.

The centre was bought from Irish investors.

The price represents a capital value of £154 per sq ft.

Royal Bank of Scotland has provided a new senior debt facility to assist with the acquisition.

The 136,000 sq ft centre opened on the two-acre site of the former Post Office building in 2006.

It was sold to the Irish investment company in 2007 for £87m – a 5% yield.

Tenants include Hugo Boss, Armani Exchange, LK Bennett, Jo Malone, MAC, Carluccio, Kurt Geiger, Links of London, Paperchase, TM Lewin, Gieves & Hawkes, Timberland, Vidal Sassoon, Tommy Hilfiger, Diesel, Patisserie Valerie, All Saints and Jack Wills.

Joe Froud, Managing Partner of Columbus Capital Management, said: "Liverpool is a strong retail City but the delivery of Liverpool One, coinciding as it did with the recession, created conditions that weakened The Met Quarter. Now that Liverpool One is established and fully let we are confident that our repositioning strategy, together with significant financing to deliver it, will re-establish the Met Quarter as the City’s premium retail destination.”

Suzanne Avery, managing director Real Estate & Sustainability, Royal Bank of Scotland Real Estate, said: “We have known the Columbus Management Team for many years and are delighted to assist them on this acquisition. Liverpool is a strong retail centre and Joe and his team have the experience to successfully reposition the asset and capitalise on this opportunity.”

Lunson Mitchenall and Insite Asset Management advised Columbus Capital Management on the acquisitions while Savills acted for the vendors.

Lunson Mitchenall is letting agent.

pnorman@costar.co.uk