Business

Ballymena property firm set to acquire Fairhill Shopping Centre for below £10m asking price

Ballymena property group Magell is set to buy the town's Fairhill Shopping Centre.

THE property fund which owns the Fairhill Shopping Centre in Ballymena is set to offload the complex for £37 million below the price it paid to acquire the retail asset just six years ago.

It's understood that the Ballymena-based property firm Magell has agreed to buy the centre for well below the £10 million asking price.

The deal, which is expected to be completed by late July, will see the shopping centre transfer into local ownership for a sum believed to be in the region of £8 million.

London-based Rockspring Property Investment Managers LLP bought the 280,000 sq ft retail complex for £45.6m in 2015.

Rockspring was itself acquired two years later by German investment group Patrizia AG.

The 8.8-acre site, including a 673-space multi-story car park, and a 5,748 sq ft office building was placed back on the market in April.

Ballymena-based Magell, which started 23 years ago by John Walker, has now reached ‘sale agreed’ status, with the property deal expected to be completed in the next four weeks.

The company, which remains a family-run operation, already has a retail portfolio.

Magell previously acquired Edinburgh’s Cameron Toll shopping centre for £74.5m in 2003 before selling it for £84.5m just two years later.

The bottom of the market acquisition in the firm’s hometown is likely to trigger fresh investment in the centre, which has been badly hit by the collapse of major high street names including Debenhams and the Arcadia Group.

The sales brochure published in April listed ten vacant units, not including the Debenhams, Topshop, Quiz, Oasis and Burton/Dorothy Perkins units, all of which have since closed.

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