AXA Real Estate is acquiring 50% of the Cabot Circus shopping centre in Bristol, UK from Land Securities for £268m (€334m).
The shopping centre, which opened six years ago, has 127,277sqm of space and contains a mix of retail, catering, car parking, residential, hotel and student accommodation.
Land Securities owned the shopping centre in a 50-50 joint venture with Hammerson; the latter will remain a 50% owner.
Laurent Jacquemin, European head of transactions at AXA Real Estate, said: “We remain convinced of the ability of the retail sector to provide secure, long-term income streams.”
Peter Cole, chief executive of Hammerson, said Cabot Circus had the potential to strengthen its position by “capitalising on structural retail trends and adapting the tenant mix”.
AXA Real Estate believes large format multi-channel retail outlets — such as shopping centres — with leisure and entertainment facilities, could be largely insulated from the structural changes to the retail market brought about by the shift to online retailing.
The deal, which is subject to EU merger control notification, follows soon after M&G Real Estate said it was buying a retail park in Llanelli, South Wales for £156m at a net initial yield of 5.07%.
The property investment manager said it was buying Parc Trostre on behalf of the M&G Property Portfolio from Developer Stadium, which had owned the park since it was developed in 1988.
The park has 264,921sqft of retail space and 144,223sqft of mezzanine space across 34 units. Tenants include Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, Next, River Island, TK Maxx, BHS, Asda Living and Starbucks.
Justin Upton, who manages the M&G Property Portfolio with Fiona Rowley, said: “This off-market purchase continues our strategy of acquiring best-in-class retail assets in locations with strong fundamentals and growing catchment areas.”
He added: “Given the well-publicised shifting trends within the retail sphere towards e-tailing and click and collect, as well as a more demanding consumer, we see the strongest retail parks only getting stronger given their ability to cater for this seismic shift within the retail sector.”