NAMA brings retail ‘Acorn’ portfolio to market

NAMA has appointed Bannon and JLL to sell its first principally retail portfolio, the €130m ‘Acorn’ portfolio.

The Blackpool Shopping Centre and Blackpool Retail Park in Cork; Millfield Shopping Centre in Balbriggan, Dublin; and The Showgrounds Shopping Centre in Clonmel, County Tipperary all form part of the offering.

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It produces over €13.18m of rent roll (after allowing for any abatements), over 70% of which is let to institutional tenants with a lease term certain of almost 11 years.

There are 120 tenants and just over 720,000 sq ft of space, including almost 100,000 sq ft of offices at Blackpool.

NAMA said the assets are likely to prove popular to both the Irish and international investment community “seeking to share in Ireland’s recovery story, supported by strong initial yields and the potential for new lettings and rental growth”.

The guide price is in excess of €130m, an initial yield of approximately 9.7%.

In Cork, the Shopping Centre and Retail Park together produce approximately €6.7m of rent pa while the offices produce over €1.3m.

The Retail Park element is anchored by Woodies, Aldi, Boots, Heatons, Maplin and Next Home (making up over 70% of the retail park rent). The shopping centre comprises over 120,000 sq. ft. of retail and office space, plus a 75,000 sq.ft. anchor unit owned by Dunnes Stores. Retailers include New Look, McDonalds, Peter Mark, Carphone Warehouse, Claire’s Accessories, Boyle Sports, Sam McCauley’s Pharmacy and Nature’s Way.

The Shopping Centre and retail/office park are owned by companies under the control of the Shipton Group which is owned and operated by developer and property professional Neil Love. Shipton’s in house management teams have run the assets since their inception.

Millfield Shopping Centre in Balbriggan is the dominant convenience scheme in that part of North County Dublin with one of the largest Tesco stores in the country as its anchor.

The 103,500 sq ft Tesco store is leased, as opposed to owned, and as a consequence the unit alone contributes €2.34m pa to the Acorn Portfolio (with 16.9 years remaining on the lease). Other occupiers are McDonald’s, Carphone Warehouse, Boots, Specsavers, Ladbrokes and Nature’s Way which together with Tesco contribute 84% of the income.

Jim Hamilton and David O’Connor of BDO were appointed statutory Joint Receivers over the asset earlier this year.

The final centre in the portfolio is The Showgrounds, Clonmel, making up approximately 11% of the portfolio income at approximately €1.45m per annum. The anchors are Marks & Spencer, Iceland and TK Maxx.

Grant Thornton was appointed receiver over the asset a number of years ago on behalf of NAMA.

John Moran of JLL and Rod Nowlan of Bannon said: “This exciting investment opportunity provides the first real chance to participate in the Irish retail growth story, and at a scale that will appeal to investors. Each of the three centres dominates its catchment area. There is secure cash flow from excellent tenants combined with asset management and development opportunities to significantly enhance returns and drive performance in a recovering market.”