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Eleventh hour swoop by Reubens unseats Monaco’s Pastor to buy Burlington Arcade

By James Buckley - Tuesday, May 08, 2018 9:17

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Property tycoons Simon and David Reuben have unseated Monaco dynasty Groupe Pastor to buy London’s iconic Burlington Arcade near Piccadilly for around £300m.

The arcade’s owners Thor Equities and Meyer Bergman have exchanged contracts on the sale of Burlington Arcade, the joint venture confirmed at the weekend.  

Groupe Pastor, which owns multibillion pound chunks of Monaco’s skyline, went under offer last month to buy the West End retail parade.

Burlington Arcade was relaunched for sale at the reduced price of £300m in February, with Savills drafted in alongside Michael Elliot as sales agents. Since then, it is understood that bids for the retail parade in the range of £280m and £305m.

CBRE was instructed to sell the asset for around £400m last January, however the agent was replaced by Michael Elliott last summer and the asking price was reduced to £350m, reflecting a yield of 3.3%. The rental income on the development is thought to have significant reversion potential.

The landmark shopping arcade was built in 1819 by Lord George Cavendish, who lived in the neighbouring Burlington House, now the Royal Academy, as a place to sell jewellery and other fashion items. 

Burlington Arcade last changed hands in 2010 when Thor Equities and Meyer Bergman on behalf of its first fund, MBERP I, acquired the site from a family trust for £104m. 

Since then the pair have repositioned the 0.5 acre freehold West End estate, hiring Cushman & Wakefield in 2013 to help bring in new tenants including recognised luxury accessories brands, Royal Warrant holders and bespoke craftsmanship. 

“After repositioning and restoring the Burlington Arcade to its former glory, we felt the time was right to sell this historic landmark,” said Joseph Sitt, CEO of Thor Equities. “With its magnificent redesign and new luxury tenants, the property will remain a treasured London destination for generations to come.”

Recently redesigned by British architect Jamie Fobert, the historic space now features stone floors sourced from English quarries, as well as restored original details including the building's grand upper arches.

In 2014, the Burlington Arcade welcomed a string of Chanel-owned labels—swim and lingerie label Eres, watchmaker Bell & Ross, milliner Maison Michael and knit label Barrie. 

Other retailers include Ladurée, Vilebrequin, Chanel, Harry's of London, The Vintage Rolex Watch Company, Lulu Guinness and Church's. More recently, the Arcade welcomed luxury brands Manolo Blahnik, Frederic Malle, La Perla, and historic perfume house Atkinsons.

The longest covered shopping street in the UK with around 37,000 sq ft of retail space and a combined frontage of over 1,100 sq ft, the Arcade attracts over 4m visitors a year.

All parties declined to comment.

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