Carlyle buys three UK shopping centers for €361m

The purchase price is £53.8 million below the value of the properties at the end of March.

The Carlyle Group has exchanged contracts to acquire three shopping malls from listed UK fund manager Capital & Regional at a reduction to their valuation three months ago.

The US group, which closed Carlyle Europe Real Estate Partners III on €2.2 billion ($3.4 billion) at the start of June, is buying shopping centers in Chester, Epsom and Edgware.

In a statement by Capital & Regional, the group said the price of £286 million (€361 million) compared with a valuation at the end of March at £339.8 million for the properties.

The price agreed represents an initial yield of 6 percent, it added.

Capital & Regional has been under pressure to liquidate some assets in the face of falling values within its Mall Fund. The group said the sale would go to reducing gearing in the fund.

Hugh Scott-Barrett, chief executive, said the transaction put the Mall Fund on a more secure financial footing.

Excluding this deal, Carlyle’s new European fund has committed €715 million to 10 assets. Those investments include a 158,000 square meter residential building in Copenhagen, a 79,000 square meter high-rise office development in Paris’s La Defense, the renovation of a 42,000 square meter shopping complex in Aranjuez, Spain and the purchase of a portfolio of 11 office, residential and retail buildings in Stockholm comprising 114,000 square meters of space. The firm is targeting opportunities across all property sectors.

Carlyle’s two previous European real estate funds, the €427 million CEREP I and the €763 million CEREP II, have invested a total of €1.8 billion in 65 assets since 2001.