Hildreds bought in £68million takeover

THE HILDREDS Shopping Centre in Skegness has been bought as part of a £68 million deal that has seen four UK shopping centres taken over.

NewRiver Retail bought the Skegness centre this month in a deal which also saw them take on centres in Carmarthen in Wales, Paisley in Scotland and Wisbech in Cambridgeshire.

Skegness mayor Steve Kirk has cautiously welcomed the news of the investment.

He said: “The fact that the Hildreds is part of a deal which is a large sum of money shows that there are live businesses out there which are interested in investing in Skegness.

“I hope this is just a case of buying a strong existing facility as an asset, because the staff have done a fantastic job down the years, such as the Christmas displays and their community activities, and hopefully they’ll be allowed to continue.”

The 55,000 sq ft Hildreds Centre is the smallest of the four shopping centres that have been bought in the multi-million pound deal.

Also in the portfolio are the 252,000 sq ft Piazza Shopping Centre in Paisley, the 103,000 sq ft Merlin’s Walk in Carmarthen, and the 92,000 sq ft Horsefair in Wisbech.

David Lockhart, the Chief Executive Officer for New River said: “We are delighted to announce the acquisition of this major portfolio of shopping centres for a total consideration of £68million.

“Following this acquisition, New River will have acquired approximately £220 million of retail assets since September 2009.

“The acquisition is in line with our investment strategy of targeting food anchored and value-led retail centres with stable income profiles and low occupational costs.

“We have already identified a number of significant opportunities to apply our active asset management and risk-controlled development skills which will enhance value.”

The firm’s Senior Asset manager Charles Spooner, added: “The Hildreds already has a really good, strong management team on site.

“They really care passionately about the centre, which makes our job a lot easier.