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DWF advises NewRiver Retail on six strategic transactions

National legal business DWF advised leading real estate investment trust (REIT) NewRiver Retail Limited on six key transactions that saw the business invest £18.26 million and dispose of three retail assets totalling £5.53 million.

The AIM listed REIT, has acquired the Lower Audley Street Retail Park in Blackburn from a private property company for a total of £14.6 million; the freehold interest of a 10,591 sq. ft. retail unit, let to Staples, on Sealand Road in Chester; and Felixstowe’s only retail warehouse unit for £1.56 million.

In addition, NewRiver also completed three sales including a 10,000 sq. ft. convenience store in Preston for £1.43 million to a private investor at a yield of 5.96%; a 34,705 sq. ft. retail unit within Dolphin shopping centre in Poole to Legal & General for £2.3 million - reflecting a yield of 7.27%; and a 20,100 sq. ft. unit, in Paisley occupied by Halfords, for £1.8 million to a private investor reflecting a levered profit on cost of 56%.

The DWF team, including real estate partners Abby Dry, Andrew Nichol and Iain McLean and senior associate Tim Richards, advised NewRiver Retail on a range of transactions across the UK. These acquisitions are in line with NewRiver’s opportunistic approach, and its selective investment into the retail warehouse sector, which in certain areas offers excellent value. The disposals demonstrate NewRiver’s commitment to recycling capital.

Abby Dry, commenting on the transactions, said: “We are delighted to once again have supported NewRiver Retail on six strategic transactions. This brings the total value of acquisitions that DWF have handled for NewRiver this financial year to £332 million. NewRiver continues to grow from strength to strength and we are proud to work for one of the UK’s leading retail REITS. DWF’s strong real estate team, together with our market leading retail expertise, geographical reach, and extensive expertise in banking, tax, planning and regulatory, means we are well placed to fully support NewRiver not only on acquisitions but also the ongoing asset management, which includes 20 shopping centres, 200 pubs, 9 retail warehouse units and 18 high street units.”

NewRiver Retail is a specialist AIM listed REIT focused on the UK food and value retail market and has quickly become the leading value-creating retail property investment platform in the sector.

Allan Lockhart, Property Director at NewRiver Retail, said: “As we approach our 31st March year end, we are pleased to complete these opportunistic purchases at a blended yield of 8.7% extending our selective investment into the retail warehouse sector. During our financial year we have deployed our shareholders’ capital into a total of £332 million of acquisitions of which 89% have been shopping centres and we have disposed of £40.2 million of assets. We remain committed to recycling assets following completion of our asset management strategies with all of the asset sales announced today, sold at a blended yield of 7.3%, delivering attractive financial returns. We are grateful to DWF for their excellent legal advice and for their efficiency in the management of these transactions”.

Abigail Dry

Partner

I am a Partner in the Real Estate team based in the Liverpool office.

Sectors

Andrew Nichol

Partner - Head of Real Estate & Executive Partner (Liverpool)

I am a leading real estate partner in the Liverpool market with over 15 years’ experience in property investment acquisitions ,disposals and management and property finance work including acquisition finance, development finance, refinancing and lending into specific structures around the Business Premises Renovation Allowance.

Iain McLean

Partner

I am a well-known figure throughout the UK real estate market, advising those involved in investing, developing or occupying property within the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.