Apollo acquires UK shopping center for £445m

The New York-based firm has bought a large indoor shopping center from the UK’s second largest academic pension fund.

Apollo Real Estate has acquired a 160-unit indoor shopping center in Shropshire, UK. The property, Telford Shopping Centre, comes with the hefty price tag of £445 million ($887 million) from the seller, Universities Superannuation Fund. The deal has been structured as an indirect acquisition of ownership interests and will be financed by RBS.

Telford Shopping Centre bills itself as one of the major shopping centers in the region, home to one of the country’s largest animated clocks and 160 stores including Beatties – a House of Fraser store, Debenhams, Marks & Spencer and Zara. The center is located just off the M54 and M6 motorways. The center is based around a central area called “Sherwood Square,” which contains the “Telford Time Machine,” a large animated feature clock spanning most of the width of the square. The square frequently holds small exhibitions and open markets.

The Universities Superannuation Scheme is a UK pension scheme for academic staff at certain British universities and is the second largest such scheme in the country. Other commercial properties the scheme has invested in include the Grand Arcade development in Cambridge and the Forestside Shopping Centre in Belfast, which was bought from Sainsbury’s for £50 million in 1998 and sold in 2001 for £70 million.