M3 Capital Partners in UK service stations deal

The real estate investment and advisory group has acquired nine service stations from a special purpose vehicle formerly controlled by property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz.

M3 Capital Partners (M3), the real estate investment and advisory group with $3.4 billion of real estate under management, has bought a portfolio of nine UK motorway service stations via its subsidiary Extra MSA Group (Extra), an investment owner, developer and operator of motorway service areas.

The transaction, closed for an undisclosed amount, is backed by debt from Royal Bank of Scotland. The seller was a special purpose vehicle called Serena Properties which was formerly owned by property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz.

Extra was bought by M3 in 2010 and, thanks to this latest service stations acquisition, now manages a portfolio of 18 assets. Chief executive Andrew Long credited the nine service stations with “doubling Extra’s investment ownership on strategic motorways in the UK”. Roy Hardick, principal at M3 Capital Partners, added “the acquisition reflects our ongoing commitment to invest in the UK’s motorway infrastructure”.

This time last year, RBS, which has been lending to the assets since Serena first acquired them, was in talks with Tchenguiz to take over the portfolio or buy it through property unit West Register after the portfolio breached loan-to-value covenants in 2010.