Business

Almost £60m wiped off value of Foyleside and Forestside in four years

The Foyleside Shopping Centre in Derry city centre.

ALMOST £60 million has been wiped from the value of the Foyleside and Forestside shopping centres in four years.

London-based private equity firm Kildare Partners bought the Derry and Belfast retail assets for around £135m in late 2014.

By 2017 it valued both shopping centres at just under £160m.

But accounts filed with Companies House in recent days show the combined valuation of both centres fell to just £101.5m by the end of 2021.

Foyleside Acquisitions Ltd and Forestside Acquisitions Ltd are ultimately owned by Bermuda registered Kildare European Partners, headed by ex-Sunderland owner Ellis Short.

The latest set of accounts for Foyleside Acquisitions show its turnover fell 30 per cent last year to just £2.9m, largely due to a substantial fall in rental income during the pandemic.

Some £2.5m was generated from rent in 2021, 56 per cent down on the £5.7m from 2019, the centre's last full year without Covid-19.

Forestside generated £3.3m in turnover last year, over £1m less than 2019, again reflecting the fall in rental income, which was down by a quarter on pre-pandemic levels.

But the continued annual devaluation of both assets has resulted in both companies reporting annual losses in recent years.

Foyleside posted a pre-tax loss of £6.2m for 2021, while Forestside filed a loss before tax of £3.2m.

Accounts for Foyleside show the value of the centre has fallen from £83.5m in 2017 to £54m in four years, while Forestside's value has dropped from £75m to £47.5m in the same period.

The same reports show the companies had bank loans totalling £49m last year. The loans were originally due to be repaid in February 2018, but both entities have extended the loans multiple times, with February 2024 the new deadline.