Burges Salmon advises on major real estate joint venture
21 May 2010
The Westgate Shopping Centre and adjoining development land in central Oxford has been acquired from Capital Shopping Centres with the simultaneous disposal by The Crown Estate of a 50% stake to Land Securities. Burges Salmon is retained to advise the acquiring joint venture limited partnership.
The future strategy is to enhance the shopping experience at Westgate through asset management and assess prospects for a commercially viable development proposal.
The 320,000 sq ft Westgate Centre was bought by The Crown Estate for £56m at a net initial yield of 6.75 per cent, a further illustration of its strategy to diversify its urban property portfolio and reduce its central London weighting by investing in key regional locations. Land Securities have purchased a 50% interest for £28m also representing a yield of 6.75 per cent.
James Cooksey, Head of Central London and Diversification at The Crown Estate said: "Westgate has a central role to play in Oxford CityCentre’s retail landscape and as a long-term investor we are excited about improving the shopping experience and the existing retail mix. Burges Salmon have provided exemplary support and advice throughout the acquisition and joint venture negotiations to successfully conclude a highly complex transaction".
"We are delighted to have advised The Crown Estate on this important strategic acquisition and to be retained by the joint venture to advise on the next chapter of the Westgate story" said Burges Salmon's Richard Clark. "These deals always present unforeseen challenges – this was certainly no exception – but drawing on expertise from across the firm and focusing on providing pragmatic and commercial advice was key to a successful conclusion of the deal".