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

The Foyleside Shopping Centre in Derry city centre.
The Foyleside Shopping Centre in Derry city centre. 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.