LondonMetric chief executive Andrew Jones tells that the opportunity for double-digit cash-on-cash returns in the UK hasn't been seen in two decades.

LONDON-The ink is barely dry on the public documentation, but LondonMetric Property plc is hitting the ground running. The REIT, which is the result of last year’s merger of London & Stamford Property Plc and Metric Property Investments plc, began trading on the London Stock Exchange this past Monday and just picked up 400,000 square feet of retail warehousing around the UK.

Cushman & Wakefield advised LondonMetric on its inaugural deal, which tallied out to $125.4 million (US), while Wilkinson Williams advised the clients of Aviva Investors. WW specializes in retail warehousing. has put out a call for further information and will update this story as those interviews take shape. What we know to date about the deal, expected to close mid-February, is that all of the properties are located within 100 miles of London. They consist of Christchurch Retail Park in Christchurch, B&Q in Leicester, Dunstable Retail Park in Luton, Cairngorm Retail Park in Milton Keynes, Mountbatten Retail Park in Southampton and the B&Q/Halfords in Tonbridge. Lloyds Banking Group provided the debt.

“The portfolio will deliver a strong day-one income of circa £7.5 million (US$10.2 million) per annum,” according to a company statement. The assets boast a 98% average occupancy with leases set to expire in nine years. About “60% of the income is secured from such tenants as B&Q, Dixons, Next, DFS, Halfords, Wickes and Pets at Home.”

According to chief executive Andrew Jones, this is the type of property and property performance that will typify the REIT’s acquisitions going forward. “It offers secure, well-let income with additional asset-management opportunities and the ability to add value all in an area of the market where we have particular expertise,” he said in the statement.“ The attractive income yield, combined with our existing debt facilities, will deliver initial cash-on-cash returns of over 12% and will continue to grow as the fixed rental uplifts fall due.”