Meyer Bergman’s investment in London shopping centre collapses

The London-based private equity real estate firm has been thwarted in its efforts to buy a 50% stake in a Kingston shopping centre after the asset was pulled from the market.

Meyer Bergman, the development firm turned private equity real estate fund manager, has been prevented from completing a £105 million ($174; €116 million) investment into the Bentall Centre in Kingston, London, after the vendor, Aviva Investors cancelled the sale.

Meyer Bergman went under offer on the investment, a 50 percent stake in the 580,000 square foot mall in the second quarter of the year.

The firm, which currently manages €2.6 billion of assets across eight countries in Europe, had organised a covered bond with German lender West Immo to finance the deal, according to reports in the UK property press. But after Aviva managed to generate new cashflow into its Aviva Linked Property Fund, a UK focused investment vehicle, it opted to halt the divestment.

An article by Property Week, suggested it was the second time Aviva has stopped a sale of the shopping centre after placing it in the market in January only to pull it in April. Aviva also tried to sell a 50 percent stake in the centre in 2007 but it did not complete a sale then either.

According to a quarter two report by property services firm Knight Frank, the sale of the stake in the centre to Mayer Bergman, would have resulted in 7 percent yield.