LONDON, UK—Valad Europe, a leading independentdiversified real estate investment manager, has acquiredfive UK properties for a total of approximately$161 million (£100M) on behalf of itsValad European Diversified Fund (VEDF) and isundertaking a number of value-add asset management initiatives onthe newly acquired assets.

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Imperial Place, a 222,450 sq ft campus-styleoffice complex in Borehamwood, just north ofLondon, was purchased for $63.3 million (£39.3M),reflecting a net initial yield of 8%. Since completion, the asset'svacancy rate has been reduced by 2.5% withArtsana, the manufacturer and distributor of babyand health and beauty care products, signing a new 10 yearlease on 5,713 sq ft of space. ImperialPlace will be Artsana's new UK headquarters, which theywill occupy alongside existing tenants including PizzaHut, Signet Trading and JustEat.

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Five Ways Leisure Park inBirmingham was purchased for $56 million (£34.7M),reflecting a net initial yield of 8.1%. It comprises two buildingstotalling 199,702 sq ft and is Birmingham city center's dominantleisure park. Anchored by a 12-screen Cineworldcinema, the Park is let to 12 tenants includingGrosvenor Casinos, Pure Gym, Inventive Leisure, Nando's,Shimla Pinks, Gatecrasher and Euro CarParks.

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A number of asset management initiatives are being explored atFestival Leisure Park inStoke-on-Trent which was purchased for $23.4million (£14.5M) , reflecting a net initial yield of 7%. The130,000 sq ft leisure park is let to Odeon CinemasLtd and Tenpin Ltd, a bowling operator. Thebuilding is located on Festival Park, adjacent toFestival Retail Park and close to other retail andleisure attractions on the edge of Stoke city centre.

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In Cheadle, near Manchester,Poseidon House, a 36,000 sq ft office building,was acquired for $7.9 million (£4.92M), reflecting a net initialyield of 11.5%. The single-let building is let to Thales PropertiesLtd, which also occupies four adjacent buildings.

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In Blackpool, Valad Europe also acquired a36,000 sq ft retail warehouse for $6.1 million (£3.8M), reflectinga net initial yield of 7.8%. The single-story retail warehousewhich is let to Homebase for 10 years, includes a garden center and215 parking spaces.

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David Kirkby, Valad Europe's Chief InvestmentOfficer, commented: “We have had a very busy investment period overthe summer, completing on more than $161 million(£100M) of UK acquisitions. We have now purchased 13 UKassets for VEDF which we believe are well positioned tobenefit from the gathering recovery in the UK economy as it spreadsto some regional locations. The high initial yields and diversifiedincome provided by these properties are typical of the portfolio weare building.

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At Imperial Place, Deloitte acted for ValadEurope and CBRE for the vendor; at FiveWays Leisure Park, GVA acted for ValadEurope and Cortex Partners for the vendor; atFestival Leisure Park, John Miles & Co. actedfor Valad Europe and MBH LLP and LunsonMitchenall acted for the vendor; at Poseidon House, ValadEurope was unrepresented while Savills acted forthe vendor; and at Blackpool, Cheetham &Mortimer acted for Valad Europe and Jones LangLaSalle acted for the vendor.

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The Valad European Diversified Fund is an $1.29 billion (£800M)fund which employs leverage between 50 - 65%. The Fund invests incore plus / value add assets in the UK, Germany andFrance.

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Valad Europe manages $5.8 billion (€4.5B) of investment andassets across its funds and mandates in Europe, with 500assets and 4,000 tenants, managed by local teams totaling215 people in 22 offices and 13 Europeancountries.

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David Phillips

David Phillips is a Chicago-based freelance writer and consultant with more than 20 years experience in business and community news. He also has extensive reporting experience in the food manufacturing industry for national trade publications.