Hermes Real Estate buys up three malls from Westfield
Hermes Real Estate has completed a deal to take control of three shopping centres from Westfield.
The property fund manager has agreed a £159 million settlement to take full ownership of a joint venture with Westfield that includes The Friary Centre in Guildford, Royal Victoria Place in Tunbridge Wells, and CastleCourt in Belfast.
Westfield Co-CEO Steven Lowy said: "These assets were originally purchased in 2000, at the time of our initial entry into the UK. Since that time we have refocused our business into iconic assets such as Westfield London and Stratford City and we continue to examine new growth opportunities in the UK."
Chris Taylor, Hermes chief executive, said the three centres were the "dominant assets" in their catchment areas.
He added: "The big advantage to us in owning a whole centre, rather than a few shops on the high street, is that we have control over all of the dominant parts. It means you can change everything from the car-parking to the lighting.
"It is a good time to get into retail and we see it as a core long-term investment, but we are not looking to go overweight on the sector."
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