Clearbell announces £59m of acquisitions

Logistics portfolio in the East Midlands acquired for £29m; Milton Keynes retail park purchased for £16m from abrdn; St Alban’s office asset bought for £14m from Aviva.

Clearbell UK Strategic Trust (CST), a fund advised by Clearbell Capital today announces the acquisition of three assets for £59m.

The trust has acquired a mixed portfolio of assets located throughout the East Midlands from a private vendor. The portfolio comprises 7 distribution warehouses and 1 office asset. There are plans for refurbishment and ESG improvements across a number of the sites, to take advantage of the demand for Grade A warehouse space in the region.

CST has also acquired Winterhill Retail Park in Milton Keynes from abrdn. The 74,000 sq ft site is a well-established furniture shopping destination near the town centre. It is fully let to six furniture and homewares retailers, including Dunelm, Bensons for Beds and Sofology, with contracted rent of c.£1.5m pa. The asset has been acquired to take advantage of the strength of in-store sales at bulky goods and homewares retailers, which is expected to continue to expand in the coming years.

Finally, a 28,000 sq ft office building in St Albans has been purchased for from Aviva Investors. Churchill House is located in a prominent city centre position, close to St Alban’s Station and Luton Airport, with connections to the M1 and M25. It is currently let to 3 tenants. Asset management initiatives include refurbishing the common areas including the reception, as well as installing four new electric vehicle charging points.

Rob Cole, Investment Manager at Clearbell Capital, said:

“Despite turbulence in the property market over the past two years, activity is bouncing back strongly in 2022. The diversity of these acquisitions demonstrates the attractiveness of UK real estate market across a range of sectors, with investor appetite showing no signs of abating. We believe that these acquisitions represent good value in the current market and will continue developing the acquisition programme for this mandate.”

Clearbell was advised by Lewis Ellis, KLM Real Estate and Gerald Eve respectively. Vendors were advised by Savills, ESH and JLL respectively.

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