Clearbell Capital has bought two real estate portfolios in the UK, investing £153m (€215.7m) and £50.75m.
The investment manager bought the Amber and Polaris portfolios from Aberdeen Asset Management.
The former, a portfolio of 29 retail, industrial and office assets, was put up for sale by Aberdeen following its purchase in 2013 of Scottish Widows Investment Partnership.
Senior partner Manish Chande said the deal, in partnership with a client of Franklin Templeton Real Asset Advisors and a third unnamed investor, was evidence there are still opportunities in the UK for real estate investors.
“Much is made of the idea that the UK is now over-priced,” he said. “In some areas, such as London and the south east, that may be the case. However, you can still pick up assets at attractive prices.”
The 2m sq ft portfolio, bought at an 8% yield, offers asset management opportunities, Chande said, with the possibility to increase value through reletting and refurbishment.
“Early sales”, Chande said, could be carried out, a strategy that the firm applied to the £60m Mercury portfolio it bought in 2012 from TH Real Estate (at the time Henderson Global Investors).
“This will not be dissimilar to that strategy,” Chande said.
Around 42% of the portfolio is industrial, with retail and office space respectively accounting for 38% and 20%. Tenants include B&Q, Travis Perkins, Sports Direct.com, LG Electronics and Vodafone.
”Vacancy is now around 2%, so the portfolio is well-let,” he said.
A deal to buy the Polaris portfolio, a portfolio of 14 business and industrial real estate assets sold by Stirling Investments at a net 11.2% yield, was first agreed prior to the UK General Election.
Chande said the portfolio of mainly northern, manufacturing-based properties was initially attractive in the case of a Labour win, but is now a good acquisition to have made in light of the UK’s Conservative government efforts to create a “northern powerhouse”.
“The portfolio is supported by policies that should help,” he said.
The portfolio is made up of 10% office assets, 67% industrial assets and 24% distribution warehousing.
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