LONDON-Retail investor Halladale has bought the Woodley shopping centre in Reading, Berkshire through its a joint venture with Citigroup Global Investments. The Construction and property group Taylor Woodrow agreed to sell its long leasehold interest in the property for £7.6 million ($11 million) which reflects an initial yield of 9.5%.

Wokingham District Council retains the freehold of the scheme and Halladale and Citigroup are co-investing along with private clients of Citigroup. Senior debt is being provided by Anglo Irish Bank. This is the second investment that Halladale and Citigroup have made together, following the joint acquisition of Bowen Square Shopping Centre in Daventry, Northamptonshire in 2000.

The property comprises retail, office and residential space, with the retail space fully let to 32 tenants including Waitrose, Iceland, New Look, Lunn Poly, Thomas Cook, Boots and Lloyds TSB. The current rental income is £766,125 ($1.11 million) but over two thirds of the centre’s rental income is due for review in the next three years.

Halladale Chief Executive David Lockhart said: ‘It is vital to the success of our active management strategy that we identify suitable asset management opportunities and we believe that the Woodley Centre more than meets our criteria. Through rent reviews on the retail units, renewal of leases on the office units and other value-adding strategies, we believe we can significantly increase the capital value.’

Jackson Criss acted for the purchaser and Colliers Conrad Ritblat Erdman for the vendor.

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