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CBRE GIP buys UK retail park for £88.8m

The indirect arm of LA-based real estate investment management firm CBRE has made the west of England-based retail park the fifth purchase from its pan-European co-investment fund. 

CBRE Global Investment Partnership (GIP), the strategic partnership division of parent company CBRE Global investors (GI), has acquired a retail park in Bristol for £88.8 million ($116 million; €105.5 million).

The 231,000 square foot Willow Brook Centre is in the northern Bristol suburb of Bradley Stoke. The immediate area has a catchment of 169,000 people while Bristol is home to approximately 400,000 people and is one of the top ten largest cities in the UK.

The center, which opened in 2009, has 40 tenants including Tesco, Boots and Argos. The seller was Tesco, which will continue as a tenant, and the BP Pension Scheme.

The acquisition was made on behalf of GIP’s European Co-Investment Fund (ECF) and the firm’s local partner Arax Properties, and is the vehicle’s fifth purchase. The partners are also collaborating on a portfolio of French logistics assets acquired by the fund last year.

”We have acquired an asset that is anchored by a high performing tenant and offers a long term, stable income stream supported by strong catchment fundamentals,” said Charles Baigler, fund manager of ECF, CBRE GIP. “The Willow Brook Centre also provides a number of asset management opportunities that will allow us to increase and diversify income.”

The fourth acquisition from ECF was the purchase of the 490,000 square foot, €150 million BIG Shopping Centre in Copenhagen, Denmark, in May. The seller was NREP, the Nordic private equity real estate firm.

In February, the ECF was closed having raised a total of $840 million. At that stage, the firm had already committed $231 million of capital to the fund’s first three transactions: a 4.7 million square foot French logistics portfolio, two high street retail assets in central Madrid and a 2.1 million square foot logistics development site inside the M25, London’s orbital motorway.

In June, the firm also partnered up in a joint venture with Spanish retail investment manager Sonae Sierra, which is half-owned by London-based property company Grosvenor, to buy a trio of shopping centers in the Iberian Peninsula for €275 million on behalf of four discretionary separate account clients.